Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Getting to Know You...

The political trend of late (one unashamedly fed by news outlets, then grasped onto by friends and neighbors) seems to endorse the ideas of personal safety through keeping others different from "you" at arms length, and entrenching oneself in a foxhole of prejudices. I would counter those ideas with the classic tune from Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1951 musical The King and I, "Getting to Know You." Dig these lyrics:

"Getting to know you,
getting to feel free and easy
when I am with you,
getting to know what to say."

"Haven't you noticed
suddenly I'm bright and breezy?
Because of all the beautiful and new things
I'm learning about you day by day."

That idea of becoming familiar with the unfamiliar was the seedling that sprouted into my recently-published piece in School Library Journal. Think about this, then act upon this: a society that encourages talking with instead of talking about; that offers hugs, not shoves; that emphasizes inclusiveness rather than exclusiveness. The more we know about others' cultures, including music, the better.

  • Image Courtesy HarperCollins Publishers/Rosemary Wells
  • Lyrics Courtesy Hal Leonard Corporation/Oscar Hammerstein II