Action in the World

It’s been a week, and my heart is still cracked open from the senseless violence in Orlando. Or it would have been, if it hadn’t already been broken by so many other acts of violence. Across the world and in our own backyards, our hearts break again and again.

My mind often turns to Leonard Bernstein’s powerful speech after John F. Kennedy’s assassination: “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”

I do turn to music, and I do believe that making music can help – it can alleviate pain, and it can help the music makers in their growth into well-adjusted, socially responsible members of society.

But I need more. In the wake of this latest heartbreak, I have made a personal commitment to give my time to make the world safer. I’m still not sure exactly how that will manifest, and I’m mindful that my time is my most precious commodity, but I know that we must move past Facebook outrage and retweeting of our leaders’ speeches and into action.

Let’s make this world better together. Let’s do the work.

(And of course, let’s let music continue to do its job. Here’s a piece I often turn to in times of human tragedy.)

Earth Song (Frank Ticheli)

This dark stormy hour
The wind, it stirs
The scorched Earth cries out in vain

Oh war and power, you blind and blur
The torn heart cries out in pain

But music and singing have been my refuge
And music and singing shall be my light

A light of song, shining strong
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Through darkness and pain and strife
I’ll sing, I’ll be, live, see