“Singing is to laughing what running is to walking.” I heard this statement several years ago from a well-known author and speaker in the self-development field. Read that again: “Singing is to laughing what running is to walking.” We all enjoy laughing, and you are probably aware that it is good for you too – emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically. Now imagine multiplying all these benefits through a very simple action. All you need to do is take a deep breath, open your mouth and sing.
Singing connects us with other people in a way that bypasses the usual barriers of human interaction. It is, essentially, an activity without a specific purpose – it does not help us (well, most of us, anyway) obtain food, shelter, or attraction from potential mates. It is precisely because of this lack of purpose that it functions as such a powerful means for bonding. If you are singing and I am singing, that means we have some free time on our hands that we are willing to spend together, doing something just for fun. It is nearly impossible to feel threatened by someone who is singing with you.
Music was a major factor that contributed to the success of the civil rights movement. People with very different backgrounds realized what they had in common as soon as they sang “We Shall Overcome” together. It communicated everything they needed to know about each other faster than any spoken conversation could have. And it did not require any resources other than human bodies and willingness to engage.
Life certainly has its challenges for all of us – but some of the most important things are, indeed, still free. If you want to experience some of this goodness, join us for our next hymn sing in the Rotunda on Wednesday, March 2nd, at 7:30 PM.