When there is light in the heart,
There is beauty in the person.
When there is beauty in the person,
There is harmony in the home.
When there is harmony in the home,
There is honor in the nation.
When there is honor in the nation,
There is peace in the world.
~ Chinese Proverb
The song melody I'm hearing in my head is of Sweet Honey in the Rock. And you can hear a clip of it on the Amazon.com (I would share a You Tube version if I found one - sorry!).
Elizabeth Alexander has also composed an arrangement of this proverb (with minor changes to the text -- gotta love the morphing process called the aural tradition!) and it has been set to a photo montage of Obama's first 100 days (You Tube).
Two different interpretations. What interesting counterpoint to the original reason I was thinking of the song.
This morning I heard about the death of Osama bin Laden and the stories in response to the news. And I am saddened. Partly because I am always sorrowful when people die unfortunately. Even those that done bad things. You can say I'm a Pro-Lifer and a Pollyanna - always seeking the best in people and in each situation. I will not deny that I look for the healable moment - where some bit of hurt in some one's past is transformed into grace and understanding. And that's why I'm sad. I believe that Osama was hurt in some deep way and that propelled his actions. Not that I condone his actions and am willing to let him off easy - I don't and am grateful I never had/have to decide how to judge him.
More saddened because of the response in N.Y.C. and D.C. It shows me we have a long way to go in finding caring, capable and sustainable communities. Or perhaps I am realizing this work will be eternally ongoing because each and every life's cycle goes through a period of claiming it's self-identity where issues are black and white. The healing transformation I seek unifies us, brings us back to wholeness. How we are more alike than different.
So I look to song to help me express the inexpressible. To help me understand.
I appreciate both arrangements of these words. They're both lovely. Alexander's arrangement synchronized with pictures of Obama's first days are well suited for the joyful hope of a promising journey.
In this moment, Sweet Honey's tune of this Chinese Proverb resonates with me more fully. It's slow spiritual melancholy carries my sorrow of this incident and the hope for every person and every nation.
May songs find you to accompany your day.