The question before my two co-workers and myself was: what music shall we next play via the bluetooth speakers displayed at our technology shop. We had maxed out “best hits of the 70’s” and “folk instrumentals”. Classical got six thumbs down.
“Try Jason Mraz,” my 20 something sales rep suggested. Having no better idea, I found the album “Love is a Four Letter Word” on Amazon Prime and pressed play. Upbeat. Pleasant. The work day went on. The lyrics of progressive songs faded into the background.
Until 93 Million Miles.
93 Million Miles: the distance from the Sun to the Earth.
From that perspective, can the human family appear anything other than a whole, a single tribe, infused with the Natural colors and tones of our planet?
Walk on Earth, however, and polarizing ideologies and vocal viewpoints (at least here in the United States) can overwhelm the senses, fracturing and isolating us from each other, even if we’re just meters or inches apart from each other. All this has long left me with questions more difficult to answer than which is the next album to be played.
“Is it possible to talk with a stranger about anything other than the weather without stirring discomfort or igniting a firestorm?” “What can help a sense of common ground emerge?” “What type of everyday interactions can nourish, if not a 93 million mile perspective, at least an inkling of togetherness and a feeling of person to person real-ness?”
What answers do you have?
One approach I’ve been trying out on some of my customers is to invite conversation about cherished places, during lulls in the technology sales process (seems like we’re always waiting for some data to back up or download or some email password to be reset). It’s an easy transition from generic weather comments or “how was your weekend” to “On summer evenings after the rain, I love looking out over the river . . . ” which can easily evoke “I know a place like that . . . ”
Seems that nearly everyone has some landscape, vacation spot, back yard, or secret hideaway that stirs the Heart and imagination. In these memories, I see a coherent mosaic and hear the notes of an earth-love song that I’ll sing and play any day. Here. 93 million miles from the sun.