In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, there is an animal called the Babelfish. Placed in the ear, the effect is to translate any language heard into the one you speak. Such an animal is deemed to be so useful it is the proof of the non-existence of God (it removes faith from the equation, and without faith God is nothing, the joke goes). In my thinking, music is like the Babelfish. (Among other things.) How is it that we can enjoy music? How did blind evolutionary process bring about attuning to certain sequences of tone? Its only purpose seems to be the conveyance of emotion. We don’t need it to survive. Diplomatic treaties and instruction manuals are not written in musical notes. It is a stunning coincidence. Which makes one question what coincidence actually may be. Or if such things deserve a different word. Or a prayer of thanks.

It is amazing just how much we take for granted. One would imagine that an extreme case would be the tweets pointed out after Christmas of spoiled children not having gotten the exact color iPhone, and subsequently posting, and I quote, “FML.” Seriously? We are all guilty of this, however, it being only a matter of degree how much it truly is that we give not a second thought to. In the other extreme, the other direction, might be to recognize that all good things we are given, and even that we do, are not authored by us, that only the mistakes we make are truly ours. Our intelligence, our ability, our will (if proven true), our capability for effort — all these are gifts. All good comes from God. Be therefore thankful, in the worst of your moments. There is still hope in that, and that, too, is a gift.

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