The thing about accomplishing a degree in college is you end up touching on a lot of subjects unrelated to your field of study, or your major. I remember sitting in an Anthropology class in Chapel Hill, knowing that I wanted to be a broadcaster since I was nine, and thinking why am I here? Why this huge waste of time? The classes are called electives, of course, but at the time I would have elected to do something different. Fortunately, it wasn’t my choice.
There were classes that I still feel like I benefitted from. One was music theory. It was a survey class – meaning no one in there was a music major – so it stayed fairly simple on the concept of music, the construction of music, what it means and why it means so much to people. I learned that music is a combination of sounds and silence – the periods of silence between the notes every bit as important as each note. Maybe more important because it allows the sound to be something more than just noise. The silence allows the sound to breathe. It stands between, separating the notes but more than that, when knowingly placed, it can set up the next note and propel it to a level of meaning that starts to become a human feeling. Keeping it from being, well, just noise.
This comes to mind during these hazy days of pandemic frustration and unresting unrest. Sometimes – and this is one of those times – it might be better to shut the hell up. How many times did your mom or a teacher tell you that you have 2 eyes, 2 ears and only 1 mouth for a reason? If you find yourself in a position of resentment or dislike or fear over what’s taking place in our world, this might be a time to let your eyes and ears do all the work. And make no mistake – the mouth these days more often than not, is social media.
We’ve seen people in high positions of importance – the CEO of CPI Security, the CEO of CrossFit. People in positions of authority – the police chief in L.A., a police chief in Florida. Famous people like Drew Brees and the guy who played Elasticman on The Flash, some barely known but employed reality show actors. Today, it hit home when a Cumberland County’s chief public defender resigned over something he posted on social media.
This piece of music that is being composed in our society could end up being a beautiful concerto with notes that last and linger and bring joy. But I they need the other half of that recipe. It’s good for the movement, good for the people scorned, good for those who have scorned. If you think you have something to say, whisper it in a dixie dup. Otherwise, shut the hell up. A little silence goes a long way.
Just saying …