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"This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender." Pete Seeger, photo by Annie Leibovitz 2001

“This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender.” Pete Seeger, photo by Annie Leibovitz 2001

Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple.” — Pete Seeger

We live in a complex world, a time when things (like technology, yikes!) aren’t always black and white. I find it refreshing to be reminded that anyone can complicate their lives or give in to complex structures and thoughts. But, like Seeger says, it takes a genius – or a child, or someone momentarily enlightened – to make something simple. Sometimes we all just need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

I think it’s been clear throughout the folk singer’s life that he believes strongly in the good of music. On numerous occasions, Seeger has said he never turned down the opportunity to sing and suggested its power in bringing people together. And his wise words have been an inspiration to generations of people, including my mom.

It’s sad to know a great person’s passing is often the catalyst for having the world take a moment remember them. But in the end, the people who inspire us most are never far from our minds.

And just for fun, here’s another one by Seeger that stands out to me among a list of more well-known quotes: “If it can’t be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted, then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production.

pete seeger

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