Who is my neighbor?
Today’s letter begins with a story about a piano that brought together a policeman and a 93-year-old theft victim. Two neighbors whose unexpected introductions led to something good. In Mansfield, England, a piano led the way. While checking on how the victim was doing, the officer’s eye led his fingers to a piano in the room. The 93-yea- old began silent playing of the same Chopin song. Music led to conversation, including the loss of his beloved wife, soothing both neighbors despite the circumstances that led to this musical nocturne. The officer began with a knock, hoping the victim was doing well. He had not expected how music could provide a path to remembering what really matters in life.
Being in day two of the government shutdown might be difficult to share in the art of loving our neighbor. Lately we seem so quick to blame or demean others, that we have forgotten Chopin’s soothing music and scriptures about love and kindness.
Many leap to blame someone else for a bad event whether it has a negative impact on the economy or on children’s lives. In business blame is not a problem solver. It often causes solutions to remain hidden. Music often heals bad events and thoughts. I remember the song that begins with “When I read that sweet story of old,” and ends with “How He called little children into his fold.”
If blame is there, we all own it, or “we are all complicit.” CHIP was a program we all passed, but it was also a program that was ignored when up for renewal in 2017. We are complicit in sending a 23-year-old mother to her death even though there were U.S. protection papers to keep her safe from her deported ex-husband. You may want to say “No!” I love my neighbor, I love children, I did not send them to their death by deportation.” Deportation back to an unsafe country results in death. It has been happening under more than one president. I do not want to feel complicit, but I do. These are our neighbors.