Peter Yarrow’s Reputation

I know this may be a stretch to write about in this blog, but what can it hurt if I interject a little of my “personal” life experiences from time to time?  If that diminishes the number of followers I get, then so be it.  Last night we saw Peter Yarrow of “Peter, Paul and Mary” fame and really had an emotional uplifting experience.  Who would have thought that a 75 year old man could still connect with an audience like that?  Heck, maybe it’s me that doesn’t realize that after reaching 75 (three weeks ago) and entertaining since the mid sixties, you should be better than an Adele or Michael Buble’.

I had forgotten that he was such a pacifist and how much he is still involved with preventing violence. He spoke of Sandy Hook with a connection that was very personal.  He also shared with us his feelings about bullying and the fabric of our country. Whether you were in tune with his politics or not, you must admire his conviction and verve when speaking so passionately about love and nonviolence.  Well, I got swept up in his positions and when he brought up a bunch of young children to sing “Puff” with him, it was all I could do not to cry.

Peter Yarrow's ReputationAt intermission we went down to the lobby where some folks were peddling his books and CDs and Peter signed a “popup book” for our four year old granddaughter’s birthday just two days ago.  Just great fun as he not only signed it for us but he actually paged through the whole book and sang Puff The Magic Dragon to us as we marveled at the book being a piece of art in the hands of such a lovely artist.

Okay, so now where can I go from here to justify adding this entry into my blog?  I have an idea.  I am going to search Peter Yarrow in Google to find all the garbage out there that may have damaged his reputation and then write my comments on his missteps. (Back in an hour)

I found this on the first page:

A Message from Peter Yarrow
& Operation Respect
to the Community of Newtown, CT

Weave, weave, weave me the sunshine,
Out of the falling rain.
Weave me the hope of a new tomorrow,
And fill my cup again.

We at Operation Respect are in a state of grief and shock over the horrifying killings of children, their teachers and their principal in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. At Operation Respect, our whole lives are bound up in efforts to prevent violence, ridicule, humiliation and bullying in schools throughout the United States, and beyond.

We are holding the families and friends of the children who were lost in Newton, CT, in fact the whole of Newtown, CT, especially deep in our hearts and prayers and we have committed ourselves to joining with others to help heal the wounds that have been visited on those close to the children whose lives were lost and to prevent the occurrence of such heartbreaking tragedies in the future.

And yes, I did find something back in his past.  Forty-three years ago he made a mistake, took responsibility and moved on with his life.  He never lied about it nor did he make excuses. I even found an interviewer who actually brought it up in 2006. Thirty six years later, some guy was trying to create a story asking a man about his past.  It’s a good lesson for us all. How about maybe being a little more tolerant of each other before we decide to make a judgment based on an event.  Why wouldn’t we look at a man’s life’s work, and judge him that way?  Wouldn’t it be nice if we could make a mistake, take responsibility and move on?  Let’s give that a shot.  None of us is getting out of here with our reputations intact.  We have all harmed someone.  There are people everywhere all too anxious to point out our frailties as it probably makes them feel better about themselves.

As I grow older I find that reputations are transient.  Reputations are minute to minute, but integrity can last. Integrity is how you conduct yourself as a person and your reputation is its by-product. Peter Yarrow’s reputation is not only intact, but a lovely tribute to his life’s work and it’s one we should all emulate.

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