Sometimes I attend an event and I just know that I am going to learn a lesson in living. I never know for sure how or when, but if I watch with my eyes on the lookout for true principles I usually don’t have to wait long. Such was the case at the piano recital I attended recently. It involved beginning students including two of my grandchildren and my niece. The concert had not even gotten off the ground when my eyes and ears perked up.
Several people arrived just before the recital was about to begin – a grandparent couple with an elderly great grandma and a young couple with a little girl and a baby. The young adult gentleman asked if perhaps people could open up a few seats on the isle, I assume so they would not have to climb over everyone. As people scooted about to provide seating I heard one man say just loud enough to be heard, “Great, you’re late and we all have to move,” and a woman within my earshot concurred. “Arrogant,” she said smugly.
That was Scene One. There was no compassion for someone’s grandma and grandpa who had traveled an hour after work, picked up a feeble great grandma, and come with her to the concert. There was no understanding for someone’s aunt and uncle who made the sacrifice, after a long days work, to drag their tired kids across town to support a hand full of budding pianist cousins.
Scene Two involved a room full of adults, who for the next hour watched silently as one little child after another took their turn at the shiny black grand piano – little pieces of music and little novice fingers on an instrument fit for Thaikovsky or Rockmanonoff. We were the picture of complete acceptance, ready patience, and perfect appreciation for each attempt at musical perfection. Unequivocal support filled the air. Smiles! Clap Clap Claps! Hugs! Flowers! Pats on the back! Good Job! “A” for effort!
Scene One and Scene Two, side by side, prove to be pretty instructive. We’re all pretty selective when is comes to cutting each other some slack. The truth is that all of us who come to earth are in over our heads. This “earth life” experience is a bit like each of us taking our turn at the shiny black grand piano. We are all beginners. Not one of us is proficient. None of us has it down. There was only one Child Prodigy and none of us are He.
I came away from the little sixty-minute event wanting to work on my attitude toward the little people and big people who make up humanity, not just at the piano recital, but also in the grocery line, on the freeway, at the parade, in the middle of sacrament meeting, at all family events etc. I left the recital that night with this thought, “Every new minute, every new interaction is a kind of recital in that it’s a demonstration of what we’ve practiced and learned to this point.” Today I want to treat people with my best recital etiquette!
By Nannette W.
Posted Wednesday, June 9, 2009
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