Last night, a Buddhist group held a benefit concert for the homeless shelter I work at. When the organizers had first come in to talk to me about the idea, I'd agreed, not really knowing what the event would look like -- What an amazing evening!
There were seven performers, all classical and jazz musicians, including one performer who happens to live at the shelter. The 300+ people who attended were treated to an evening of Mozart, Bach and inspired jazz renditions of pieces such as Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
At the beginning of the evening, 12 members of The Tzu Chi Foundation who sponsored the evening, gave a sign-language demonstration of a piece of music. They played the piece of music twice. Once with English soundtrack. Once with a Chinese soundtrack. What struck me most about the performance, aside from the fluidness and beauty of their movements, was the fact that no matter what language the song was song in, the signing told the same story.
Sign language fascinates me. Every element of communication is used when signing -- including voice. In 'ordinary' communication, we use words to tell our stories, communicate ideas, facilitate contact and often don't consider the relevance and importance of the 93% of our communication which is non-verbal.
There are a thousand ways to say, Heart -- depending upon whether you are English, French, Chinese, Dutch, etc. heart has a different set of vowels, consonants, symbols. There's one universal symbol for heart -- in every human being, the heart is located in the same place. It is there the signer points when indicating the heart.
No matter what I say or do, when I connect through my heart, I am part of a universal lanugage that touches everyone -- regardless of race, creed, economic or social status. Like the signers last night, when I am 100% committed to communicating from my heart, I connect 100% to those I am involved with.
Last night, a group of signers and musician used music to connect to their audience. They opened their hearts and let their musical talents pour out. For those of us in the room, that out-pouring of heart-felt beauty was an inspiration.
As I watched and listened last night, my heart was lifted, and I felt part of the incredible possibilities of what can happen when we put aside our differences and celebrate what it is we share when we communicate through the heart. Love.