A friend posted a link to a flash mob on Facebook this morning, so I watched it. I love musicals because, let’s face it, we all burst into song and dance every now and again when we’re having a serious moment or discussion. Don’t we?
Really? We don’t?
Maybe it’s just me. Well, me – and Julie Andrews, of course.
Speaking of Julie Andrews, the flash mob was in Central Station in Antwerp as the song “Do-Re-Mi” from The Sound of Music began playing.
According to the information provided on YouTube, the flash mob only had two rehearsals before their performance in 2009. And more than 200 dancers participated. Link to flash mob.
The song begins booming over the speakers and a father steps into the middle of the massive floor and starts dancing to the music. His young daughter joins him. And then, as the name implies, the number of dancers grew into an eventual mob.
I love those things.
When I watched this one, though, I had a strange reaction. I got choked up and a little teary-eyed. What the heck is that about, I wondered. I was enjoying it, so I couldn’t figure out my response.
Maybe it was because The Sound of Music is one of my favorites. Or maybe it was because I have an affinity for tea, a drink with jam and bread?
No…that couldn’t be it…
But then realization hit. First of all, a mob was gathered for something completely lighthearted and fun. Cameras caught images of passengers who were not part of the flash mob dancing on the sidelines. Some faces showed surprise while others wore expressions of sheer delight. People clapped along to the music and cheered at the end. Strangers smiled at each other and looked as though they were thrilled to be a part of something special. Certainly, it was a break from the routine.
And, to me, it was a wonderful sight.
So often these days, mobs are gathered in protest for some cause or injustice. There are angry protesters and sometimes angry mobs protesting the protesters. And there is usually a phalanx of officers in uniform attempting to enforce crowd control.
There seems to be a lot of anger out there lately. Maybe it’s just me and I’m spending a little too much time on Facebook, or something.
But I sometimes worry about the state of the world we live in. Why are we so angry lately?
Often, it involves an issue of where people are polarized either right or left and everyone is sure their opinion is the correct one. There is no middle ground. There is no grey area. And one side certainly cannot see the other side and vice versa.
Or we’re angry over the actions of a group. There are some people these days who are sure the police are the bad guys and other people who are one hundred percent behind the “boys” in blue.
Or we’re angry that a dentist could spend ridiculous amounts of money to kill a beautiful creature so he could, I don’t know, prove himself a man? Well, that plan sure backfired. Seems like he’s the one being hunted now.
But you know what I think it could be? We didn’t used to live in a world where stories could go “viral.” Heck, a few years ago, we wouldn’t have understood the term.
Nowadays, people post videos of themselves doing crazy things like hopping a fence to pet a cougar at the Zoo – just to call attention to themselves. Even though the guy protested that he didn’t do it for the attention. Sure, buddy…whatever you say.
I say that the whole “15 minutes of fame” thing has grown into something big and ugly.
But because so much ugliness gets attention, we find ourselves getting angrier and angrier over the things we see and hear.
So I guess I maybe understand my teary-eyed reaction to the happy little flash mob a little better. And I realize I need to see more of that sort of thing. I need to fill my Facebook feed with images of smiling babies and cute, fuzzy animals. I need to watch more musicals. And I should tell my family and friends that how much I care about them a little more often.
Maybe that will hide some of the ugliness and erase some of the anger.
Or maybe I should warn my husband that I could – at anytime – break out into song and start twirling around a mountaintop. Y’know – like they do in musicals. If I give him advance warning, he won’t be as likely to call the guys with the straight jackets to come take me away.