This might mark me down as a sad man, but one of my favourite film scenes is Bill Murray doing karaoke in Tokyo in Lost In Translation. The song he gets is the Elvis Costello version of What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding? which he belts out with a tunefulness guaranteed to close down any hope of a music contract. It's brilliant, even if it's not heavy entertainment. Certainly better than declaring war on everyone.
But, to answer his question: there's actually nothing funny about peace, love and understanding – it's just funny that they sound like a good idea.
Peace, love and understanding. Where on earth do we go with that?
Well, we've just opened a new office in Leeds and everywhere you look you see three words: Loving. Living. Learning. A bit like peace, love and understanding, they sum up how we want to be.
For Christians like me it means loving God, the world and one another.
It also means getting stuck into the world as it is, but fired by a vision of what it could be. So, we work hard at enabling individuals and communities to flourish and thrive. That's living.
But, all this loving and living is done with the acknowledgement that we keep making an almighty mess of it and can't seem to help getting it wrong. We are all learning together and from one another. In other words, we need a huge dose of humility in our attempts to love and live.
To twist the words of a well-known album, we need to sing when we're losing as well as when we are winning. Or, as I discovered again this week while driving down a no-entry road in Cambridge, I learn better from my mistakes than from my successes.
So, loving, living and learning shape a lens through which we can look at what we do, why we do it, where our priorities are, working out what and who really matters. Not three words that imprison us, but words that open up the possibility of living differently in a complicated and messy world.
Perhaps, if we did a bit more loving, living and learning, we might end up with a bit more peace, love and understanding. And it wouldn't seem funny at all.