It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us.
The other day, I came across the most moving video that I’ve seen in a long time. It’s called the Virtual Choir from Eric Whitacre, and the premise is simple: One man pulls together over 17,000 separate voices from 129 different countries in one single piece of music.
When I heard the voices blending, melding, lifting each other up in song and harmony, I couldn’t hold the tears back. “This is how it’s supposed to be!” I said to myself. “This is what Life is all about.”
Here’s their Virtual Choir 6:
As I listened to the voices from every continent on the globe, I couldn’t help but make the correlation to how our lives twine together in other ways to create a grand symphony. Each voice has its own pitch, its own notes, its own individual characteristics. None of the voices are perfect on their own. They each have words to sing and a role to play, and on their own they might be lovely, but when each is blended with thousands upon thousands of others, it’s simply magical. At the same time, if any individual voice were to be missing, the collective whole would suffer.
(I bet you can see where I’m going with this…??)
Diversity is critical in a symphony.
If everyone were playing the same note at the same time in the same key on the same instrument, the song would have no depth. The interest and richness of the music comes from the variety of the instruments and the notes they’re playing in harmony with each other. The tuba doesn’t try to play the flute’s part, and the flute doesn’t try to imitate the cymbals. All are needed in different ways at different times.
I’ve heard it said that if two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary. That is so true in the world of music! We need different instruments. We need diversity. We need variety. AND we need to be working from the same sheet of music so we can align our work with our neighbors’. Musicians and singers don’t work against each other. It’s not a competition. Instead, they come alongside one another to work together to a common end. Yes, they may have different instruments and parts to play, but they’re playing the same song.
One of the most beautiful things about music is that it is not about perfection.
What would perfection be in music anyway? So what if people play the right note at the right time, but there’s no emotion or personality to it! It would be boring. That’s why we love to hear our favorite bands and singers perform live, so we can share in the moment and the emotion with them. It doesn’t matter if a note is played a split second late, or the singer adds a word or two. We connect to the music because of the feeling the musician or singer brings to the notes. And when two, three, a hundred, a thousand people can hear what everyone else is saying and align their music with it, it’s overwhelming in its emotion.
So… what if we applied this to our everyday world? Imagine what would happen if we started thinking of ourselves as co-musicians playing the same symphony in a Global Symphony… What would shift?
Right now, it kind of feels like the tune is in a bit of a transition. In music, this is called a bridge, a part that brings two parts of the song together. We’re struggling a bit to find the right key, and to play our notes at the correct time. Some of us may even feel like we’re being asked to set down our cellos to pick up the flute instead, and that can feel uncomfortable. But if we give ourselves time, and we listen to what everyone else is playing, we will soon find our way through the transition.
It’s easy to be seduced into thinking we’re all divided, that there are “sides” to this thing called Life. But that is such a fallacy. There are no “sides” to Life anymore than there are sides to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.
When we pick up our instruments, we’re playing together. We’ve forgotten that, and we have the woodwinds trying to drown out the brass instruments, while the strings sit there trying to play faster and faster, thinking if they finish first, they “win!” Isn’t that silly?
We win at Life when we work together to create harmony. We win when every instrument and voice is given its opportunity to be heard as part of the whole. We win when we embrace the diversity of our voices and sounds and realize that we all are valued and contribute to the overall whole, and that the sound of someone else’s notes can actually make our notes sound better!
The key is to listen to the other instruments so we know what to play. The only way to find the right harmony note is to listen to find your note. Listen to your neighbor. Hear what they’re playing, and see how you fit in this new song. Because, believe me, you do fit.
Your voice is needed. You have notes to play and a song to sing. We’ll discover them together.
I believe in the power of journaling! Spending time actually writing down your thoughts, impressions, and feelings provides a way to work through challenges and to appreciate our blessings. Here are some questions for you to consider in your journal:
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