Saturday, October 6, 2007

Last Chair. First.

With permission... I share the following story....

This week was incredibly tough for a certain musician we know and love. Music, notes, sounds, rhythms.... are so much a part of his very being. In many ways, it is like breathing for him. It comes so naturally and yet he still practices daily.

He was out-of-town for a few days and had not taken his trumpet with him due to the circumstances. Although... it would have actually been quite welcome. His practice time had been next to none when it came time for the chair test. Much to his disappointment, he received last chair out of five. He played the notes too quickly.

He shared with his two biggest fans about what he felt like was his failure. Just the week before he had been first chair and had gotten to perform in front of a large crowd with cheers and applause. His pride.. his ego... shot down. He was angry. He was mad at himself. And completely disappointed. And then......

His two biggest fans reminded him about the fact that his being first chair more often than not... means that the others behind him do not know what it is like to be in his shoes. To be able to say, "I'm first chair." or "I played before a large crowd with cheers and applause." How they must feel angry, mad at themselves, and completely disappointed. Their pride and egos shot down.

He listened carefully and absorbed the word being spoken into his life... his heart.... his breathing.... While there is nothing wrong with wanting to be first chair... there is something wrong when one cannot be happy for others they call friends because they are so engulfed in their loss. For when individuals remember it takes more than one when playing in a band..... their loss is another person's gain.... and the band can play on... at times even better to a large crowd with cheers and applause... or especially for an audience of One.

He ended up realizing the error of his way and has gotten himself right. His two biggest fans even more so proud of him now than all the times he has been first chair. For there are lessons learned from being last that are beyond priceless.......

Sometimes we need our eyes to be wide open so that we may truly see.

Thanks Travis for allowing your story to be shared.

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