I got a ukulele for Christmas.
It was a present from my wife. I must say, that these sorts of things (that is, presents) are not usually in our marital focal or peripheral vision for each other. We tend to edge towards experiences together, rather than stuff for each other. So this Christmas was a novelty.
According to Wikipedia, the ukulele is commonly associated with music from Hawaii where the name roughly translates as “jumping flea”, perhaps because of the movement of the player’s fingers. Legend attributes it to the nickname of the Englishman Edward William Purvis, one of King Kalākaua’s officers, because of his small size, fidgety manner, and playing expertise.
So I’ve been trying my hand(s) at the uke and it’s appeared in front of restaurant audiences around town and at our own private family gatherings around a bonfire, which I filmed.
And I’ve noticed a few things in the process.
- Very few people frown when you take a ukulele out of it’s case. Children generally squeak with delight (“It’s a tiny guitar!!”) and adults try to suppress the same level of glee.
- The sound lends itself to both the cheerful and also the “prayerful” (as one restaurant manager put it).
- I’ve yet to meet anyone who absolutely cannot tolerate the sound of ukulele. Most people, even if they don’t profess to be ardent fans, can live with the sound of a ukulele – either in the foreground or background.
So forgive the philosophical train of thought here at the beginning of the week, but here goes…
If people were ukuleles, we’d live a pretty peaceful existence. Think about it:
- Everybody else smiles whenever you enter the room;
- You exhibit a heaven-sent vibe; and
- You’re commonly liked.
Okay, okay… it might be a bit simplistic. But still…
Perhaps, just perhaps, these traits are something to aspire to in our world today.