A Common Bond
In a world where lingual differences divide people, creating a barrier of communication between nations, there is still something that can bring everything together as one. Something that is the same in America as it is in France, and the same in New Zeeland as it is for a small tribe in Africa. Even people that have no contact with the modern world, that know nothing except for their families and village, know this something as well. A person living in China does not need a translator to understand this something, even if it is in Italian. This something sounds the exact same to one human being, as it does another. I believe in the universal language of music. In this language, a lyric will sound the same and have the same meaning everywhere. A chord in Germany is the same chord in the Middle East.
I was first exposed to this when a French student was living in our house for two weeks. The first time I met him, I could tell he was shy. I did not know a word of French, and we had barely spoken a word to each other. I sat down at my piano and started playing a song. I had only played three chords when the words came out of his mouth, “whisper words of wisdom, let it be…let it be”. At that moment I knew I shared something in common with this kid that I could not even say hello to.
From then on, the barrier had seemed to be broken down. We both understood the universal language of music. He might not have known what the words in that song were saying, but he knew what they meant. It makes me wonder why something can change when rhythm and melody are added to it. Why can we understand a verse but not a paragraph, and a chorus, but not a sentence? It is a bond that will be forever held, yet held without explanation, and I think that this bond can be used to turn violent relationships into peaceful ones, and overall make the world a better place.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.