This I Believe

Karen - Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Entered on August 13, 2008

I believe in harmony.

In my youth, music was central to my life. My early years were scored by the singing of my older sister. My high school years were spent playing the piccolo in my marching band(no band camp jokes, please) and my chorus experiences in “Fiddler on the Roof” and “ The Music Man”. Then college and med school pulled me away from making music.

For the next thirty years, my life were devoid of harmony. When my schedule allowed, I joined the church choir, I rediscovered the joy of joining others in song. Being an alto became as much of my identity as being a physician. An alto was not the diva prone soprano, the attention seeking tenor, nor macho baritone. Being an alto meant staying in the background. I enjoy being a Pip in a world of Gladys’. To make a joyful noise after thirty years of going solo, was a blessing and a lesson.

I learned that harmony was only possible with separate voices. That the resonant notes of differing tones result in a rich, soul soaring sound. Harmony can only be present in the presence of different voices. I hear God in the chorus.

I recently had the privilege of joining my choir in the National Anthem at the Lancaster Barnstormers game. Our ten part a capello performance gave me goose bumps. I learned that being an American, was enriched by joining in song by a diverse group of participants. we are not a melting pot but a chorus.

I believe that our government functions best when people of differing opinions truly listen to each other and find common ground. Diverse views lead to more comprehensive solutions. Congress has become a battleground instead of a functional legislative body. Somehow, compromise has become a dirty word.

No matter who is elected in November, I hope they have the wisdom to seek out diverse opinions and truly listen with an open mind. Great government could come from disagreement. But it will take listening to many voices, and seeking out the harmony.