Monday, May 28, 2012

Three Lessons I Learned from To Kill A Mockingbird

I watched To Kill a Mockingbird this weekend. What a fantastic movie! I particularly like Scout's spunk and Atticus's quiet strengthhe is most admirable and respectable. Anyway, I thought I would share a few lessons I learned.

1. Sometimes kindness calms the most stubborn souls. I can't find a clip, but there's this part in the beginning where Scout says "hey" to an older lady she passes by who is sitting on her porch. The lady immediately lashes out at her saying she should say "Good afternoon" and "Weren't you taught good manners?" Scout ignores her and finds her father, Atticus. They walk by her again the other direction and before the lady can get a word out, Atticus says "Good afternoon" and comes up to her, complimenting her extraordinary garden and saying all sorts of niceties. With a tip of his hat, he and Scout go their merry way. All are appeased. Did the lady deserve that sort of kindness? Probably not. Did Atticus have to say anything to her? No. But it showed that Atticus was a good man, choosing peace over pride.

2. Some of the most powerful things can be said with silence. I wish the whole scene were here because it's more drawn out and much more intense. You can sense how much Atticus despises this man, yet he's so in control he does nothing to harm him. Atticus remains unmoved by a man of whose main weapon is to frighten and intimidate others, and I believe that Atticus's unflinching manner unnerves this horrid man.

3. My personal favorite: sometimes innocence can do what wisdom can't. This is when Atticus knew there would be trouble at the jail so he spent the night in front of the innocent Tom Robinson's cell in order to protect him. What bravery Atticus and his son have, but in the end, it's Scout's innocence that saves them.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My Voice

I have been thinking lately how grateful I am for my voice. Seriously, of all the things I treasure in this world, my voice is toward the top of the list.

I love to sing. I always have. My mom could tell you that there was usually a song being sung in the house, and 95 percent of the time it was coming from yours truly. In sixth grade I joined choir and stuck with it all through high school. In college I had to remind myself not to sing while I was walking to class (because only that weird kid who wears a cape around campus does that) or hum while my roommate was trying to sleep (I try not to annoy my roommates). I think singing is my default mode.

I have a pretty long commute these days. I'm in the car 50 minutes every day, and I honestly don't mind it that much for one reason: I get to blast my favorite songs and sing along.

The cool thing about singing is you don't need any musical instrument. Everyone can sing, and a voice doesn't cost anything. How amazing is it that you can make beautiful music with your own bodyno purchase necessary?

Years ago I read (I think on one of those old-school facebook flair things) "Music is what feelings sound like." I agree completely. So often I have feelings that I am itching to express. At times I feel I am going to burst! But music and singing is my outlet; it calms and soothes me. I absolutely adore it.

What would I do if I couldn't sing? What would I do without music? What would I do without my voice?

I don't even want to think about it.

(Now if only I could sing in front of other people....)