Monday, February 22, 2010

The ABC Song

     Tonight the power of association is wafting with the music deliberately chosen to soothe the savage beast. The amount of information our brains have accumulated is overwhelming and mind boggling. I would venture that there are songs that transport you to a specific day, place, time and emotion. You are absolutely there again no matter how many days, years or decades have past. There are commercials that all you have to hear are the opening words and you can finish the jingle. Smells, sounds, touches, words and looks can make the Star Trek transporter look like the first wheel. We learned our alphabet through the infamous “ABC” song. We were given pictures of objects and learned their names and pronunciations. Short of a neurological illness or injury, those associations do not leave.
     And yet, I can walk into a room and stand totally clueless as to my intent. I become the personification of tabula rasa, perfectly blank. But, if while I’m standing there, you ask me about one of the million bits of cultural trivia, events and people from decades ago or a certain song plays and I can carry on with the detailed minutia of an IRS Code.
     So where is the “ABC” song of faith, hope and love? Where are the jingles and pictures of respect, courage and humanity? What if we learned “A” is for “authentic”? What if we learned “B” is for “belief”? What if we learned “C” stands for “courage”? What if the pronunciation was embodied in both teacher and everyday life? What if the child, learning to speak, when he or she saw someone could point their chubby little fingers and say “courage”, “energy”, “lost”, “love”, “human”, “scared,” “warrior”, “peaceful” or perhaps even “angel”? What if with the same rote redundancy of the multiplication tables, the attributes and gifts of the heart and spirit were etched within us and poured forth with the elegance and ease of two times two equals four? What if the first pledge of allegiance we learned was to our own authenticity and from that service to others? What if we sang “He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother” instead of “Old McDonald”? What if we knew people’s names and dreams like we know batting averages and other sports statistics?
     This is not a tirade against the educational system. It is the rumination of a warrior, who is a child, playing quietly with my building blocks of letters and wondering, whispering and daring to ask, ‘what if?' What would be different?