I stand among fifty thousand in a packed football arena. Yet it is so quite I swear you could hear a pin drop. Right now, we are like one large being. We stare, entranced, at the small figure hundreds of feet away. He stands on a stage that took hours to set up. He holds his guitar to his chest. The speakers are on, the cameras focused. He gazes out at us for a few brief moments and I think I catch a smile on his tiny face. His fingers graze the guitar strings. A sharp crisp 'thumm' booms around the stadium. My heart jumps at the sound. Again, he strikes, harder this time. I can almost feel my feet vibrating. We lean forward together, hungry for more. With a flick of his wrist he creates a tune. He casts his spell. Now we are his. We forget ourselves. As those beautiful notes reach us all we sway together. We are all one voice, within one song, together, united.
I think it’s amazing how music plays such an intrical role in our society, even if we don’t know it. From the catchy tunes companies such as McDonald's sport, to the anthems we proudly sing in recognition of our countries sovereignty. Music can cover the entire spectrum of human emotion. From the thunderous drums of war to the fragile piano notes played in Romance movies. Music is everywhere.
It’s so thoroughly ingrained into the human psyche that you can automatically tell the theme of a song without any need for words at all, which I think is amazing. Did you know that a baby can recognize a melody from inside the womb? Music surpasses age, ethnicity, even language. I’ll be the first to admit that I enjoy occasionally listen to Spanish songs, the words of which I couldn’t even begin to understand. Yet through an upbeat tone and cheery singers I can tell their feel-good songs.
Personally, I think we don’t take advantage of music like we should. Who’s to say we can’t teach math’s formulas with a good old catchy rhyme and a rap sung by a famous rapper. It sure as hell would make learning a more fun. Why can’t we make songs about the countries of the world instead of learning one big list? We could have the world song, everyone would love it. When I would go to France I could sing the world song on the streets and French people would recognize it and sing with me. We could skip, arms interlocked to the Eiffel tower and the entire city would join in Disney style. Even the birds would be singing our world song.
Well, that might be a bit far-fetched. But music truly is a force to be reckoned with. It can be subtle in all the right ways, forceful when it truly needs to be. And in a world that is so forceful already that small, brief brake putting on your headphones can give is something I seek after every day. There is so much war and hate in this world, we all know of the atrocities committed in Syria, the poverty in India’s slums, The malaria ridden African children we see on TV every day. What do we do about it? If you’re lucky, you might find someone who pops a few spare coins into the charity box before spending all their money on candy and cola. I think many people take the “As long as it’s not in my backyard” approach. Ignoring the world’s problems and shutting the metaphorical blinds on the subject. They prefer to look at Netflix and rant about the weather.
We have all heard Trump and his speeches in which he promises to build a glorious wall across the Mexican border and ban all Muslims. We have all seen the refugee crisis in Europe. “They’re not like us, some of them could be terrorists!” Why should we help them? Why should I care for someone who is taking advantage of others? That homeless man should get up and get a job. He isn’t like me, I actually try, he should know better! Why should I care about the death crime and punishment? I could never be a criminal; they’re a different type of human, their inherently cruel. Why? Why should I care?
Well, in my opinion, the answer is simple. There is no ‘we’ or ‘them’ there is only us. We are all human. We all breathe the same air. And when we are all standing together, listening to the same song, stuck in that one moment of euphoria, we truly surpass our individuality and become one. I have listened to music from around the world, from every culture you could imagine. And you know what? They all sing about the same things. Love and death. Despair and hope. I think we humans need to realize that we all think the same things; we all want the same things. And I think music can show people how similar we all really are.
Who is to say that homeless man didn’t try to be a good person? Who is to just assume on sight that because of where he is know that he is bad? Who is to say that criminal didn’t steal out of desperation, Who could say they would do any different if they walked in his shoes? Who can understand? It’s all possible through the power of music.
I like to think of the earth as one big stadium. We can all stand at opposite corners and sing our own disjointed songs, ignoring the world around us. We can try our best to sing our own music as loud as we can and simultaneously give out about how everyone else is singing to loudly, how no-one can hear you sing. Or we can stand together, fill up the stadium until its brimming with happy, unified people all singing the one song. No-one is left behind because in order for the song to sound right we have to sing at the same time. We have to work together. We have to learn to understand and accept people, despite how they look or act. We have to learn to understand. We have to listen.