There are certain songs that I hear, that will just move my soul.
When you hear a song, what do you hear first? What are you listening for the most? The lyrics? The beat? The music? I’ve brought that question up at many social gatherings, which always resulted in the greatest discussion as a way to get to know people. Try it. And listen to what people “hear”, it’s quite intriguing.
Over the past year, I’ve spent quite a bit of time sitting with my hospitalized son listening to all sorts of crazy sounds. There’s nothing like a hospital stay to make you slow down, stop and just listen. Beeps. Buzzers. Alarms. Ticking. Feet scurrying. Muffled conversations. Sometimes even just loud silence. Yes, sometimes silence can be very loud when you are in a hospital.
One familiar, and welcome sound was hearing Brahms Lullaby play every time a baby was born. That always made us stop and smile and appreciate goodness in our world. But every so often, another clip of a song would play over the PA system that was quite compelling – Lean On Me. It wasn’t until I saw a poster on one of the elevators that explained the meaning of the song clip. It was played as a way to remind the staff of the hospital’s vision and mission. To care.
I wondered how effective this song clip was at helping staff stop and reflect. I must say that I did notice great care in this hospital. The staff must have taken part in very intensive training sessions. Not just the incredible doctors. But every staff member: nurses, porters, cleaners, painters, everyone stopped and cared in the hallways. They would make eye contact. They would ask how things were going. And they would listen. They would not move on until you were done “needing them”. Watching nurses come and go on their shifts, leading normal lives at home and keeping people alive and comfortable during their days. I viewed them as absolutely fascinating, listening to every piece of information they shared about my son. I hinged on every word. And we truly felt their wholehearted care.
This really made me stop and reflect as a leader of a school. How well do WE stop, listen and reflect on our vision in our school? We might not be saving lives. But we are certainly helping in the development of lives. Parents are leaving their children in our care each day. And parents hinge on our every word when we are discussing their children. Do our parents feel our wholehearted care in these encounters?
The theme song clip idea has stayed with me ever since my hospital experience. Would a song clip over the PA at school, sometime throughout the day, maybe remind us to stop and reflect on our purpose? Would we stop and listen and reflect? But most of all… I wondered what the best song would be. In fact, I have been wondering about the best song for months. Something uppity? Something religious? Something deep?
And then, today while sipping my morning coffee, I was blessed with my answer to the perfect song. I have to thank Danielle, one of our teachers in our my school, for sharing it on Facebook. This is the song I would use. And I just might begin tomorrow.
What about you? What song would you use?