Music, the Universal Language of Mankind
“Music is the universal language of mankind,” so said Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. And so right he is. There is nothing like music to take you to a place in time. That Journey song may always remind you of your Junior Prom. The Black Keys of the summer through Europe. And perhaps even a little Nirvana to nudge a memory of that first guy or girl you really liked. Music crosses all borders, time zones, languages and colors. Not that I would forget this, since music has always been an enormous presence in my life, but I was recently reminded in a somewhat ironic way.
After an amazing year of growth for Section 101, I was ready for a much needed vacation in December. As luck would have it, we have family friends who invited us to come along on a trip to Africa, a place they are quite familiar with and have traveled to extensively. It was too terrific an opportunity to pass up, so my family and I spent many months planning, getting shots, talking about places we’d be going, what to pack, etc, until, before we knew it, we were on a flight bound to London, then Africa.
As expected, it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Our friends, who spoke the language, were the best traveling companions we could ask for. Their two daughters are in school with my two daughters, so beside all the incredible opportunities to do and see, there was also a sense of camaraderie among us travelers. At one point on the trip, we found ourselves in a car, getting ready to go out for the day on a Game Reserve in Kenya. One of the kids (not mine!) started singing along to her iPod Touch. The song? Kina Grannis’ “In Your Arms.” Before I could say anything, the girls started talking about the song, how much they liked it, and how they were turned on to Kina from an older cousin. They then chatted about the “amazing” video, a viral sensation made with close to 300,000 jellybelly jellybeans, and how maybe they could see it later on the iPod when we had connectivity… all before taking off in a jeep for a day long trip to see exotic animals and mind blowing scenery on a Reserve in Africa!
I came away from this moment with a few thoughts. 1) It was very cool (and impressive to my two daughters) that it was Kina they were talking about, and not someone who wasn’t a Section 101 client. 2) That there was a very good chance that in one year from now, or 10 years from now, or even 15 years from now, when one of the girls hears “In Your Arms,” they will remember their time in Africa getting ready to go out on Safari 3) There truly is nothing in this world that brings people together like music. As far away from home as they were, technology enabled them to bring their favorite songs with them to provide a soundtrack during such a significant time in their lives. Music truly is a universal gift and we need to keep supporting anyone and everyone who has something for us to hear.
Watch Kina’s “jellybelly” video here!