Harmony is the action of many working together to achieve the same purpose. Much like how an orchestra is made of many different instruments to make a glorious sound, we do the same. There is no orchestra that is one instrument, one type of instrument, or even the same notes for everyone. It’s a combination of many different instruments working in concert to play the same song. That small difference is important for your consideration.
The purpose of the orchestra is to play that music, and in order to do so each instrument must play it’s own way, much like how we interact with each other. More to the point, each human is a bundle of unique experiences and perceptions that generate the thought patterns we see today, and as a result their perception is unique. It’s both a blessing and a curse in our concert of people.
What this means, unfortunately, is that we often desire the same thing, but we are not on the same language in how to achieve that desire. Sometimes, it puts us at odds with each other, doesn’t it? I have personally held many conversations where because I was approaching the conversation in one direction, I completely missed the fact that we were agreeing that the thing needed doing, it was just we were approaching from opposite directions as opposed to going together. Sometimes that’s beneficial, but you must first be aware of it to benefit from it.
Especially in a place like the Temple, where we challenge ideas and sometimes ideas are people’s identities or major points of how they understand the universe, we can sometimes become defensive, or hot headed in the defense of our ideas. That is not always bad, to be passionate about something, but to allow it to override you logic and the remembrance that you are talking to a human with distinct ideas is not ideal. How often have you walked away from a conversation realizing that you were arguing for the sake of arguing, that you already knew you agreed with them or vice versa?
Sometimes we need a step back to really read what we are saying and see how that correlates with our discussion. You might be surprised that to find under all the debates, shouting, crying, anger, verbose paragraphs chunks, and other discourse battlefields, you might find that the other person is attempting to get to the same goal you are, it’s just you differ on how to do it, and that’s okay. The first step to harmony is recognizing the commonalities, and then you build off of those and eventually blend the best of the best together.
We are an orchestra, each person a unique instrument, with our own purpose in the song, but we all must play the same song to make it sound good. I can’t play one song and you another and expect it to work well, much less so with twenty other instruments doing the same thing. Remember that we are playing the same song, it’s just that you might be trying to tell the tuba to play the clarinet sheet music.
Take today to reflect on the conversations you have and the overall purpose they hold. Topics like guns and schools tend to have one main line: People want safer schools. It’s just that we all differ on how to achieve that result, but if we work together, we can try to make it work better together, than for one person to try and overpower the others. Consider the song you guys are working on, and see how each person understands the sheet music and go from there. You won’t always agree, but I think we can all acknowledge that understanding where people are coming from can help understand what they are talking about now even more so.
Take that step back and analyze what’s going on, see the underlying words and why they might be saying it. Rarely do people come right out about some things, but we can look deeper and try to understand why and how it’s coming out and that will lend knowledge and wisdom to how to help work the conversation to a unified solution, not just a one sided victory. Sometimes we can’t come to an agreement, but acknowledging that someone is being heard can still be a step forward in some cases.