Wednesday, August 14

Harmony through Diversity at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo--and the world's second most sung song!

On my recent visit to Scotland, I had the opportunity to experience the Edinburgh Festival and attend the Royal Military Tattoo, with the castle as its backdrop.  While we heard plenty of the bagpipe bands marching in rows that I expected, I was surprised by the range of dance, vocal, and performance groups from Mongolia, Mexico, Korea, New Zealand, and other parts of the world.

This diversity led to a rich, vibrant harmony, culminating in all the performers coming out together and joining the audience in singing the second most sung song in the world, Auld Lang Syne. Their custom is for people to cross their arms and clasp hands with those on either side of them, swaying to the song--quite a sight with this wide a range of participants, many of whom were enthusiastically swaying and singing in English, a language they don't speak.

Whenever you get stuck in your life or your work, a way of breaking through to a deeper solution is through diversity--either expand the definition of the problem you're facing or expand the size and diversity of the group addressing it.  The Royal Military Tattoo was a spirited reminder of how diversity can often open doors to innovation, growth and harmony.

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