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Neighbor to Neighbor: Attend school concerts, support your local arts

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This is the season when peace on earth is supposed to abound and we are encouraged to be generous with each other, at least in spirit. Unfortunately, things do not always go the way we would like them to go.

There are places in the world that have known no peace in many gears. Some of the most devastating wars have been and still are fought over religion - sometimes different factions of the same religion. Participants are then alienated from their God — the one they claim to please the most.

Wars are never nice, but sometimes they are necessary. Sometimes humanity is pushed too far and is forced to retaliate. That to me is the condition in which we now find ourselves. Too many treacheries have jolted us into war and it is a war we must win if there is ever to be a chance or peace and tranquility for future generations.

The turmoil broke out in our part of the universe on Sept. 11. With our hearts still aching, we pray our prayers for those who have tried, and are trying, to protect us and our country. We even pray that our enemies will miraculously see the benefits of turning away from wickedness toward constructive deeds.

We try, in the meantime, to grasp at some manner of the peace that the season promises. Faith helps heal. The way nature can contribute sometimes helps. This year we are grateful for the unusually warm weather, which until recent days had given our wonderful rescue and recovery teams a better opportunity to work at their task at the Ground Zero.

We will have to wait until next spring to find out what this extraordinary warm spell has meant to all the growing things that have begun to sprout months before their time. Last week pink blossoms appeared on a local fruit tree, leaves of spring bulbs were already several inches out of the ground, and violets have been seen in full bloom. Even the migrating birds seem confused about which way to fly.

We may always wonder why things happen the way they do, but we try to deal with whatever happens as best we can. Sometimes we try to escape — at least for a short time — by losing ourselves in fun or fantasy. We take time to help someone, to laugh with family and friends, to appreciate the smile and antics of the young.

We are sometimes surprised to see the beauty in some of nature’s artistry and wonder why we hadn’t seen it before because, surely, it was there. Then, too, there is music to uplift us — if it is the right kind.

Recently, there have been reports that too few people have been attending the Queens Symphony Orchestra, thus necessitating the cancellation of some of its programs. What a shame. “Music,” as the saying goes, “soothes the savage beast.”

I would suggest to you that it would add something nice to your life, or make a nice gift for someone you care about if you could find and attend a school concert. It is certainly well and good to support Broadway and the more prominent music organizations, but Queens and our other county neighbors also have many cultural events that would love to have us support them.

If you have never attended a school show, you should try to do so. Youth, like age, has much to offer. What youth may lack in the polish of years, they exude in willingness to try to please their audience.

Their teachers prod them with “Practice, practice, practice” and to them the applause and support of family and friends is as important as a big check is to the professionals. Try not to miss an opportunity to do something uplifting for yourself, or for someone else. It would be a nice way to begin the new year.

Here’s to safety, happiness and peace.

Updated 10:25 am, October 12, 2011
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