Humming and the Pursuit of Happiness

29 Jan

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. –Dalai Lama

My mother was a hummer. Not the car, the practice.

My mother, Ethel Irene Kugler Adler, was constantly humming around the house.

I would always marvel at her statement to others when she would say with all modesty “I don’t know where Debby gets her musical ability from – must be her father” (who happened to sing with the New York City Boys Choir as a kid).

But I would tell her that she had provided a rich environment of music for me from the time I was born. There were always records – yes, those old “78’s” – playing in what we referred to as “the middle room” in the house I grew up in. I learned how to sing before I was two by mimicking Perry Como, Kate Smith, Bing Crosby and Harry Belefonte, among the others that we listened to all during the day.

But it was really my mother, who was constantly humming while she worked around that house that I remember so vividly. I’m not even sure that she was humming popular songs – she just hummed.

I’m a hummer, too. In fact, I will become suddenly aware that I’m humming a song, and then laugh to discover what tune I’m humming. It’s become a pretty good barometer of my mood or thought process of the moment.

I’ve noticed that kids are chastised for humming. So if someone is humming because they’re happy, why do we need to cut that off? That’s sort of like trying to keep a cat from purring in my book. What’s the point?

ANY musical appreciation or ability needs to be encouraged. Humans have a rich connection to their culture through music. In the realm of the physical, the vagus or tenth cranial nerve makes a unique connection between the brain, voice and heart. So singing, and even humming, can serve as a healthy function.

Music is the Language of the Heart. Humming is just another dialect. If you are or know a “hummer” – encourage them. Who knows? They might just be the positive influence on the next “rock star’s” career.

Or they might just be that which brings joy to those around them. A noble outcome, for sure. 🙂  -Deborah Adler

“Being creative means trusting your inner calling, ignoring criticism or judgment, and releasing resistance to your natural talents.” -Pa’Ris’Ha Taylor

©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: All quotes remain the sole property of the original authors.)

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