I found myself singing along to the songs, recalling the story they told of a man, Ribaldi, cursed to live misshapen and feared until someone could see past his outer physical deformities to his heart which, at the beginning, is admittedly as unpleasant as his outer appearance.
Ribaldi sings to the young girl, Bonnie, of a "curse" - but not in a way you might expect. He sings of how, oftentimes, we fail to take responsibility for our part in many of the trials that may befall us as we blame others for our misfortunes instead of being willing to change those things within our power and willing to accept those things which are not.
Eventually, Ribaldi begins to soften as Bonnie and the children of the town learn to look past his exterior to the man within and accept him for who and what he his. They see his kind and generous heart and it is that which draws them to him.
Sadly, as is the case many times, it is the adults - jaded by life, hardship and fear who refuse to accept Ribaldi. I thought to myself how often we choose not to look to past our first impressions of someone to give them a chance to show us the "melody" within them. In the same way, many times we refuse to let others hear our own "melodies" because fear holds us back. How often do we add pain to our own lives and that of others because we let fear and pride take over?
We need to remember that we do not know everything about those with whom we come in contact. We do not know their secret sorrows and fears, just as they do not know ours. We need to be willing to put forth the effort to truly know and care for those around us and, likewise, be willing to let others truly understand and care for us.
Until we each let the other in, we will never know how we can help and heal one another.