Can we love humanity as we love music? – News
With the evolution of language and the growth of communication channels, we have probably become more adept at analyzing human beings than integrating them into our lives.
The day Lata Mangeshkar left, it’s as if a whole generation of Indian music lovers had lost their melodic moorings. It was amazing to see the flood of sadness that fell on them.
From longing and gratitude to pure devotion and love, the overwhelming feelings that were made public by the people who loved her to sing made her immortal in their memories. Some simply wallowed in the sad thought that the nightingale would sing no more. Others considered it an irreparable loss to humanity.
What particularly surprised me was that not all of those who mourned his passing were music connoisseurs. Not all of them had practiced do-re-mi or had a major understanding of raga and rhythm. Yet there was something that united them all, and that was their love for the beautiful voice and the melodious chords it produced.
What brought together a whole legion of music lovers was not their understanding or knowledge of music, but an unquestioning acceptance of its universal appeal. It was a great moment of connection and meeting of human souls, not based on refined tastes and discernment, but on the search for a common ground that defied logic.
I’m a huge music lover, but I can’t decipher the musical details other than identifying a few favorite ragas. I melt into a symphony like ice in water but I have no idea of its grammar. What then connects my heart to the soul of music? How do I appreciate something I don’t understand? If I can absorb music into my life without knowing what it entails, then why can’t I connect with people without trying to get to know them or deconstruct them?
I am led to compare this connection between music and humans with the connection between people and wonder why we are so heavily dependent on people’s understanding to make human connections. Despite our best efforts to find out what we think and communicate it to our fellow human beings, we have come to grossly misunderstand each other, jeopardizing human relationships and wreaking havoc in our lives. Are language and misplaced social relationships responsible for this slow disintegration of relationships?
It makes me even more deliberate if it was because of our dissection of human nature that we found ourselves at our wits end with each other, picking up squabbles and slashes at the slightest opportunity. Do we try to read beyond what is apparent, to find meanings that do not exist, to convey ideas that we do not really believe in, to speak when it is not necessary and to try to establish authority over the other, when all we have to do is recognize that the other is an entity like us, whose anatomy does not need to be understood nor its mental tissue scrutinized.
With the evolution of language and the growth of communication channels, we have probably become more adept at analyzing human beings than integrating them into our lives. And that, in my opinion, is an irony. We often use our speech to disagree and tear holes in each other’s emotional fabric. Our words are often our sworn enemy.
Before we cement an association, we tend to put people under the scanner, read their cellular structure, and judge them one way or another. Eventually, the connection is made or dissolved based on perceptions rather than a natural inclination to accept. This is how we built our equations: using our brains. The love we speak of in glowing terms has slowly begun to drift away from the heart into other practical territories, perhaps.
Our predilections are to find new ways of consuming. We try to understand and infer more than to accept and attach ourselves. It has nothing to do with the constant feeling we all have for music, where the strains are subtle and spiritual, and the affinities are not cerebral. We don’t try to figure out what’s going on in a song as long as it takes us on a plane and puts us in the clouds. We simply allow ourselves to capitulate to its pervasive ethics.
If human language is an obstacle to unconditional love, what use is it to the fulfillment of our life? If our communication only creates chaos, what is the use of such talk? If our relationships are meant to decode each other, what value do our affections have?
If there’s anything I’ve learned from my embrace of music of different genres without mastering it, it’s this: it’s only when we ground ourselves in a seminal connection that transcends our limited understandings that we find true love – both in ourselves and in others.
Asha Iyer Kumar is a Dubai-based author, life writing coach for children, motivational speaker for young people and founder of iBloom, FZE.