Join Your Voice With Mine

Aug 12th, 2008 | By John Waller | Category: Essay, Music

In this day and age where headlines are filled with accounts of war, where centuries of hatred unleash atrocities beyond human comprehension, and where civility seems to be rapidly disappearing from our own society, it is easy to believe that evil is the driving force in the world today.

But don’t believe that, not for a moment! Despite what we are constantly bombarded with every day in the salacious and sensationally laced media, what the world truly is filled with, and what goes unreported, are the countless acts of love, generosity and kindness – often in the midst of those horrific events – that we instinctively perform for one another. The overwhelming majority of people through out the world want not much more than to live in peace and harmony with their neighbors, their family and themselves. Yitzhak Rabin, on the signing of the first agreement between Israel and the Palestinians in September 1993, said “We, like you, are people who want to build a home, to plant a tree, to love, live side by side with you – in dignity, in empathy, as human beings, as free men. We are today giving peace a chance and again saying to you: Let us pray that a day will come when we will say, enough, farewell to arms.”

I truly believe in the power of an individual’s voice, and that it, when added to others that are singing in unison, can bring beauty and convey a powerful message to the world they inhabit. And so, with my one voice, haven been given an opportunity to be heard by you, I encourage you to raise your voice with mine and the many others to oppose the clamor of hatred and evil to form a chorus that promotes peaceful, harmonious coexistence with our fellow human beings. No matter if we are Christian, Jew or Muslim; Asian, Arab or American, we are all children of the same God, and as such, we are all brothers and sister of the spirit, if not the flesh.

When you leave here this evening, what I hope you remember most of my voice is my challenge to you to do something for peace, today and everyday. Use your voice to encourage others to act, to speak to those who can make a difference, to stand up for what is right – please don’t remain silent in the face of injustice, inhumanity or ignorance. Let us all join our voices to sing a life filled with love, hope and peace.

From the program notes of “Laudate Dominum: An Evening of Sacred Arias” performed by Jurate Svedaite-Waller with readings by John Waller.

“Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.” Unknown

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