I always liked this song from my childhood and it gives me goosebumps sometimes when I think of it. Right now, I am pretty far from a hippie singing Kumbaya on the outside, instead wearing suits, getting my MBA, and consecrating most of my time and talent to a career that hopefully will be sufficiently financially rewarding to pay off my loans, travel, and have a good quality of life. Or so it seems on the outside. I actually go to school with people of about 10-15 different nationalities, we share our traditions, and I do think that being a part of a healthy, ethical private sector is helping the poor. If I didn’t really believe that, I wouldn’t be doing this.
I’ve been thinking a lot about career and passion and life’s work and legacy lately. Sometimes it gets to the point where I want to stop looking at my navel and have some external foe to fight off, and see some concrete progress and empirical basis for hope. This is a slightly self indulgent statement perhaps, but I’m sure it relates to others out there wanting to make an impact, be happy in what they do, and be financially secure as well.
I realize now that all these things depend on recognizing my own worth, my Unique Selling Proposition, personal brand, etc. I’ve been reading the Alchemist by Paolo Coelho too, and meditating on my personal legend.
I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony. I’d like to hold it in my arms and keep it company…
I’d like to teach, I love the world, I seek harmony. Harmony of ends and means and ethics, harmony between cultures, harmony within. In order to teach singing, you have to sing yourself first. This calls for action as well as contemplation, but more than anything I believe it comes from a place of awe. Awe beholding all of creation, our fellow men, and the miraculous gifts we find ourselves keepers of.
I’ve spent a good part of my life feeling guilty for all that I had, from my personal gifts to being born in a middle class American family to great parents. I compared all I felt I should be with what someone else, especially someone born in less fortunate circumstances, could have accomplished. That has to be the worst pain in the world, I thought, not having the opportunity to sing your song. I leave it up to God that we are all given, somehow, the means to be happy, but I can’t testify for others. But what I can do is work to create a world of opportunity and harmony and singing.
Yes, singing, because without singing harmony and opportunity or nothing. Should one gain the world but lose their own soul, should one have peace without honor, should one have plenty without hope, it comes to nothing in the final count. But with singing, with soul, with beauty, brightness, aesthetics, art, music, laughter, God, the Transcendant, the One in all things, one has everything. And perhaps doesn’t even need peace or prosperity, but they do seem more conducive for singing.
I would like to live in a world of opportunity, and soul. Not soul in the sense of organized religion or enforced belief, but something more like “soul” in jazz, soul in art, soul in love. And so I will judge my own life choices according to whether they help create this new world or not. Passion comes with overwhelming love for the goal that is chosen, be it one craft or multiple skills that come to perfection in service of a greater good.
This blog is obviously written to that affect. In the offline world, I’m not quite sure what is in store for me, but all will be revealed in time. What joy though, to choose and be chosen to teach the world to sing. There are so many possible vehicles for this purpose, but with inspiration for the cause and the wholeness I feel in being part of it, I know I’ll choose the right one. Including this blog.
Looking forward to hearing more from you and what you are doing to make the world sing, too. Kumbayah, Aloha, Salem Allechem, Peace be with you.
Thank you for helping me to become unlost through translation. Without know you are out there and there’s someone listening, it would be awfully hard to sing.
All my love,