Wise Words – The Song I Came to Sing Remains Unsung

The song I came to sing remains unsung. I have spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument.” 

Rabindranath Tagore


When I read this line of poetry from Rabindranath Tagore, I feel a poignant tug at my heart. I recognize the truth of his words and am inspired to use my strengths and talents in service to the world.

We are each a unique being with a combination of spiritual gifts that have never existed before. Part of our purpose in life is to express those singular gifts. By adding our individual pieces to the puzzle, we make a contribution, we bring a light that may help someone who feels their life has too much darkness.    

Your gifts may not seem significant or exceptional, but they are needed nonetheless. They might include an ability to listen with empathy or make connections between people, a warm presence you bring at the end of a long day, or a wry comment that bubbles up from your quirky personality. Whenever you express an authentic piece of your higher self, you sing the song you came to sing.

The drive to express our gifts does not come from our individual motivation alone. The spiritual impulse draws our talents from us. Connecting to our higher self allows our unique gifts to flow, showing up in the small moments when we become more conscious and more loving.

Singing your song does not have to be flashy or perfect. That is a self-limiting critique that keeps you frozen. The work of expressing your gifts is the point itself. That is what practice is. And after all, when viewed from the long term, all of life is a spiritual practice.

What does Tagore mean that he has been stringing and unstringing his instrument? He is sending a subtle warning that we have this one life to use the gifts and talents we have been given. Our potential is a small door that opens briefly. When we walk through, our actions ripple out and affect others. People are comforted, strengthened, healed, and inspired to sing their own songs. If we don’t act, that potential vanishes. Practice for practice’s sake is not enough; if it does not manifest in service to others, it is like stringing and unstringing our instrument but never making music.

Tagore’s poem is a lament. He places the narrator at the end of his life, looking back with regret. We feel his despair as the speaker sees he has wasted the rare opportunity he had been given.

I do not want to look back at the end of life and feel the song I came to sing remains unsung. I want to know that I have searched out opportunities to sing, the small moments when I allowed an expanded awareness and a more loving nature to guide my actions.

Photo by Dominik Scythe on Unsplash

8 Replies to “Wise Words – The Song I Came to Sing Remains Unsung”

  1. What an inspiring blog! It arrived (fortunately) as I reflected on February, with a sense of accomplishment and begin looking forward to what might be the next song that I am being called to sing. Thank you very much for sharing Stephen.

  2. Steve, the choice of “practical wisdom” is perfect. The substance of your words are indeed practical, wise, and very useful in reminding one of the significance of life worth living. I look forward to receding these messages from you. A treat for sure. Dan

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