An Easter lily reminds me of a trumpet, jubilantly announcing the good news of Easter morning. It can’t be timid, or it would never be heard over the din of our noisy world: Traffic and sirens and ads and 24-hour news cycles that trumpet the latest tragedy or occasion for outrage.
What’s easy to forget is that we are part of that noise. It’s important to consider what we are putting out into the world. Are we spreading good news and positive vibes, or are we sharing bad news and negative energy?
I am not suggesting we bury our heads in the sand and go all Pollyanna. It’s just that bad news has no trouble finding us and bullies out the good news. I know I am often guilty of focusing too much on the 3% of my life that’s off the rails, while the other 97% is pretty darn good.
Of course, no one ever thinks they are part of the problem. Not you. Not me. But sometimes, in our haste to proclaim our truth, we can inadvertently contribute to a screeching symphony of disharmony. Diversity of thought is useful, but it can’t exist if we drown out those who think differently with shame, sarcasm, and judgment.
Let’s say you are a violin, I am a clarinet, and that dude over there is a tuba. If we all just blare out our own thing, it’ll sound worse than a shopping cart falling down a flight of stairs. But those three sounds, although very different, can work together to create something quite beautiful. And if you’ve written off the tuba as an ignorant blowhard, you’re missing the full expression of that beauty.
Or consider the rainbow.
Lose just one color and the rainbow isn’t quite as beautiful. Each hue is unique, with its own distinct characteristics. But have you ever tried mixing them all together? You end up with an ugly, homogenous muddy mix of grayish brown.
In this attempt to force unity, the individuals are silenced.
The thing is, the rainbow was already unified. Placed side-by-side, together but distinct, each color shines proudly and beauty is the by-product. A beauty that’s impossible to achieve if a few colors crowd out the others.
Maybe I’ve jumped too deeply into the Sea of Metaphor. Maybe I’ve let too much of my artsy-fartsy show with all this talk of tubas and rainbows.
The prescription is simple: In a noisy world, make a joyful noise.
If we want a better world, we have to acknowledge the fact that our own actions are a contributing factor.
We all have something important to share, and the world is worse off when we don’t.
But as we share our gifts and unique point of view, may we always do it with positivity, kindness, and joy.
And remember: We don’t all have to be the same to work together.