Music & the Spoken Word: A quiet groundswell of love and friendship

Editor’s note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square broadcast. This is an encore performance of “Music & the Spoken Word” with a new “Spoken Word” selected and recorded while the choir is practicing social distancing. This will be given Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021.

A man sat in an airport, waiting for his flight and reading the news on his phone. He shook his head, frowning, as he scrolled through story after story about all the trouble in the world. If he had glanced up, he would have seen an exhausted mother of two on the bench across from him, trying to quiet her crying baby. The baby’s 3-year-old brother, who had been playing with a toy car, gently rested his car on the baby’s lap. “Here,” he said. “Play with this. It’s fun!”

That kind of generosity and love won’t show up on a newsfeed, but it happens, and it can brighten anyone’s outlook.

Last Halloween a young child was trick-or-treating. When one giver showed him an empty bowl and said, “Sorry, I’m all out of candy,” the little boy reached into his own bag and pulled out a candy for the adult. That kind of bigheartedness should help all of us feel confident that the future is in good hands.

If we look, we can see kindness all around us. A California family in need was surprised with new kitchen and laundry appliances from the local Boys and Girls Clubs (see “BGCGSD Surprised Deserving Club Family with Kitchen and Laundry Appliances from Maytag for the Holidays,” online at sdyouth.org). A high school in Colorado made a yearbook in braille for a visually impaired classmate (see Deborah Swearingen, “Conifer High School Surprises Student With First-Ever Braille Yearbook,” by Deborah Swearingen, Canyon Courier, May 7, 2019, mymountaintown.com).

Shortly after a young married couple moved into their new home in Massachusetts, they had a baby who was born deaf. When their new neighbors found out, they were sorry that they wouldn’t be able to communicate with the little girl as she grew up. So they hired someone to teach them American Sign Language, and before long, 40 neighbors were attending the class. The girl is now 3 years old. Not surprisingly, the first word she signed to them was “friend” (see “To Make Girl Who Is Deaf Feel at Home, Dozens of Neighbors Learn Sign Language,” by Laurel Wamsley, National Public Radio, Dec. 27, 2019, npr.org).

All over the world people are combining compassion with creativity to build bonds. If we’re ever tempted to think society is pulling apart, that more and more people are sowing discord, perhaps we can look away from the noise for a moment. What we’re likely to see is a quiet groundswell of love and friendship happening all around us. We may even feel inspired to join such efforts, adding our own offering of peace and compassion wherever we are, however we can.

Tuning in …

The “Music & the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160AM/102.7FM, ksl.com, BYUtv, BYUradio, Dish and DirectTV, SiriusXM Radio (Ch. 143), the tabernaclechoir.org, youtube.com/TheTabernacleChoiratTempleSquare and Amazon Alexa (must enable skill). The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on many of these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at musicandthespokenword.org/schedules.