October 14th, 2023. I found myself nestled in an intimate hall in Brussels, captivated by the harmonies of “Ukrainian Voices”, a choir from Ukraine making their debut here. Each note they belted out seemed to soar, echoing through the room and weaving intricate emotions deep within my very soul. As the melodies flowed, my mind wandered off to the discordant tunes of our world – the wars, the conflicts, and humanity’s inclination towards destruction. No judgment clouded my thoughts, just a profound reflection on the surreal nature of our existence.
Turning back the pages of time, there was a moment some 70,000 years ago: the Cognitive Revolution. It marked a crucial juncture where we were bestowed with the precious gift of “storytelling”. Beneath unpolluted starry skies, our ancestors began to craft narratives, vibrant canvases of thoughts and beliefs that spanned generations. From these tales emerged the belief systems shaping the essence of our societies today, be it politics, religion, or cultural ideals.
But, like any canvas, there are varied shades within these vast belief systems. Some interpret stories with a gentle spirit, while others, the extremists, passionately etch their interpretations with fervor and intensity. It’s a haunting irony, how a minority, armed with malevolent narratives, can ensnare an entire nation into conflict. From Russia to Ukraine, Israel to Palestine, Hutu to Tutsi (the list goes on) – wars have been sparked time and again, not by tangible foes, but by intangible tales. Tales so powerful that they move some to march to their deaths, while others stand by, watching and becoming victims.
Yet, amidst this whirlpool of chaos, there shines an undeniable beacon – of unity, of togetherness. Music embodies this force. That evening, as the “Ukrainian Voices” serenaded us, their voices became an antidote to worldly dissonance, reminding us of our shared human core. Beyond global reflections, their songs invoked personal introspections within me, revealing silent battles between facets of my soul, grappling over choices and responses I could make.
I also tread the melancholic path of recent memories, where entrenched beliefs severed bonds I once deemed unbreakable. I felt a poetic blend of joy and sorrow, realizing that even in our personal spheres, battles rage, but music possesses the power to heal.
In this ever-unfolding symphony of time, wouldn’t it be comforting if we all endeavored to amplify the harmonious notes of unity and solidarity? For, in the embrace of music, we unearth the essence of peace. Let’s create more melodies, more harmonies, and lessen the wars – within and around us