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Barnes: Some thoughts about harmony


My, how you have changed!

Or maybe I’m the one who has altered my ways of thinking about you.

That’s probably more accurate.

When I was a youngster I thought your identity was tied only to music. My high school choir sought your presence, our orchestra played for your attention. We learned you were elusive, rigidly set in your ways, uncompromising in your standards, and usually just one note or two beyond our skills.

But in those rare, priceless moments when we found ourselves in your presence, there was a beauty about you that made us want to extend the visit. Of course, you never permitted us to remain long; our needs and desires meant little to you. Your agenda took clear precedence.

In time, I gained a broader understanding of your attributes. From a melodious, euphonious point of reference, I discovered your influence had greater implications. Within your purview is symmetry, conciliation, accord and congruity.

For those who acknowledge your significance, you help people adapt to new environments, encourage people to work with one another, and you even assist discordant groups to find common ground and pull together. Behaving in concert with others gives meaning to our concept of team play.

Your best effort, I believe, rests in your ability to offer the hope of meshing our inner selves with the outer world in which we live. I find true happiness when I am at peace within myself. Only then am I able to express love and accept it in return.

Which leads, as you know, to a reconciliation between the constant internal forces that promote self-interest and the need, for some of us, to be of service to others. Your disposition is characterized by the degree of satisfaction we feel when experiencing balance and unity in our lives.

Something else I’ve discovered about you: With your brother, Integrity, the two of you constitute a powerful opposition to the pervasive enemies, Hypocrisy and Ugliness. I didn’t realize how involved you were in this battle until my late middle years. Keep up the good work!

You are still difficult to find at times, but I am no longer bothered by your elusiveness. I’ve learned to treasure our moments together.


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