Back in the day, I put my English degree to good use and worked in journalism.
Originally, I was hired by a twice daily newspaper publishing company to edit a weekly supplement that was inserted into the Sunday paper. Eventually, my boss, the Arts and Entertainment Editor, realized I could write and he expanded my role, sending me out to cover various stories in that field, write reviews of some of the cultural events in the city, and eventually making me his assistant editor as well.
Perks of that job were two complimentary tickets to community and touring theater productions, operas, ballets, art shows, and music concerts. With my husband by my side, I enjoyed many productions we could not have afforded to attend otherwise.
Some of those occasions included concerts performed by the local philharmonic orchestra, which gave us an ongoing appreciation for classical music, one of the genres of music we still enjoy.
Frequently, I listen to my Pandora classical music station and Papa and I occasionally watch our local PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) television station when orchestral productions are on the air.
While viewing a show featuring Conductor André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra, my mind traveled back to those days long ago when we enjoyed philharmonic concerts in person. Orchestras are composed of instruments from different families: strings, brass, woodwinds, and percussion, and a philharmonic orchestra is full-sized.
I particularly remember one philharmonic concert we attended which featured guest artists, duo pianists Ferrante and Teicher. I realize I’m dating myself because these two musicians are long dead now. Trained at the Juilliard School of Music, they often played popular and movie theme music on two grand pianos, giving those songs their own special flare. Click here to listen and watch one of their renditions.
I can’t recall what songs they performed with the philharmonic that night so long ago, but I do remember thoroughly enjoying the evening. As a pianist (and not a very good one), I always appreciate good piano music. We even purchased a couple of their albums to listen to on our stereo. (Young folks, that was when vinyl long-playing records were all the rage.)
All of this reminiscing prompted me to think about orchestras and how a variety of different musicians playing entirely different instruments can achieve such beautiful sounds when they play together in harmony and unity.
If orchestra members did not follow the music perfectly and in unison, the result would be cacophonous. We would hold our hands over our ears and shout, “Enough! I can’t bear to listen to this anymore!”
It just seems to me that the voices we are hearing in the world today are just like a discordant orchestra. No working together in a harmonious fashion. Each voice trying to out scream the others because they can’t or won’t sit down and discuss issues reasonably.
And there are far too many days when I do exclaim, “Enough! I can’t bear to listen to this anymore!”
Whatever happened to the idea that we can disagree without being violent? We can disagree without screaming obscenities at one another? We can agree to disagree? And still live in peace, treating one another with dignity and respect.
I know God does not intend for us to tear each other apart simply because we don’t agree on certain issues. I certainly do not hate someone because I disagree with them and their views.
My hope is that there are more folks like me than not. We just aren’t the loud ones. We do want our voices to be heard and we will stand up for what we believe is true, honorable, and just but we won’t use vitriol to express our views and beliefs.
Instead we prefer to play in humanity’s orchestra creating harmonious beauty instead of discordant ugliness.
“The Lord did not people the earth with a vibrant orchestra of personalities only to value the piccolos of the world. Every instrument is precious and adds to the complex beauty of the symphony.” ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin