Monica Justinger

Monica Justinger

I like classical music, but I cannot say I know much about it; but when I listen to it, I find it beautiful and centering in a way that it makes me want to listen more.

When an orchestra begins, it is always the same. All are gathered in the pit, or stage, and a musician designates a violinist to stand (he/she), called the First Chair Violinist, moves to the front and plays a note, called the keynote and all begins to adjust their particular instrument to one another to the first violinist.

Finally, the one note rises and fills the hall. Final tweaks are made before the conductor comes out and stands on the podium and taps his wand. The symphony begins.

What would happen if there was no keynote, no First Chair Violinist — every instrument would be tuned, no doubt, since all members of the orchestra is a professional, but they would not be tuned together.

A symphony is a group of individual musicians playing their own beautiful sounds. It’s a collaboration of individuals, sharing their gifts, tuned together to create something beautiful, unique, magnificent. It cannot happen individually — always by definition, a symphony is a communal affair.

We are living in unprecedented time. Leadership in my community recently wrote, “More alone time and restrictions on gatherings have led some, myself included, to take stock of how I really wish to spend my precious gift of time. I can allow the time to weigh heavily on my hands or I can find ways of filling it with meaningful, or even frivolous, yet necessary activities. The pandemic and all the social unrest currently roiling society have presented us with opportunities for choosing — mode of operation.” (Sister Jean Steffes, CSA)

Just think about our community, our country, the world and all the individuals who share their gifts for the sake of something bigger than themselves. Like a symphony, we all have to be tuned to make something beautiful to come about.

Wednesday started Lent, a time to prepare; this year, instead of “giving up,” try expanding your actions and reach out to your neighbor, make yourself aware of the injustices that are happening in our world. So many events/developments and injustices transpire and elude us each day. Until we make us, me, aware and take the time to tune in the keynote, we just live in a bubble.

Awareness is the first action to make a difference. To create change by collaborating. To be part of a symphony. Is this not how we change and make a difference!

Written by Sister Monica Justinger, member of the Pickaway County Ministerial Association for The Circleville Herald. The views of this column may not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper.

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