Going no place…at the speed of life

“I just wanted to check,” came the band director’s voice through the phone.  “Have you had my student’s instrument for a week and not fixed it yet?”  I’m in shock and reply, “She brought it in yesterday afternoon and I did the repairs last night!  What do you mean a week?”

And the realization hit…my reputation is in the hands of seventh graders, who do what they have to when it comes to staying out of trouble.  How is that possible?  Can’t I get some sort of insurance, some sort of certificate of merit that exempts me from these pitfalls?  You work for a lifetime building a professional reputation and some teeny-bopper tears it all down with one falsehood.  Well, I admit, it’s not as bad as that…I have been known to take a very long time on instrument repairs (although never more than 3 years), and the lifetime I’ve worked for my reputation has been interrupted at frequent intervals by periods of carelessness and just plain indifference. But still…

I guess what  bugs me is that I want to make a difference to the kids, their parents, and yes, even their band directors.  But I’m one of those nuts who has to bat a thousand, has to get it right with every person who comes in my door.  Unrealistic?  You bet!  But it’s what makes me tick, so the disappointment that any normal person would shrug off bogs me down, making me try to find a “fix”, a way to rectify the situation.

Don’t worry, though.  I’m better now and ready to get on with my life in spite of the setback.  I’ll get up tomorrow and remind myself that I least I didn’t disappoint my Grandma by becoming a bum, as I threatened to do many years ago.  Then, I’ll resume my work of helping young minds full of mush (sorry, Mr Limbaugh) become the disciplined musicians of tomorrow (even if it does mean that they want to become a metal guitarist and emulate Dimebag Darrell).

Honestly, which one of us hasn’t at one time or another thought that we would change the world?  We just knew that if we had a stage and an audience, we’d convince every single person within the sound of our voice to come around to our point of view.  But what happens is that, like the fellow I tried to convince that his violin was not actually a Stradivarius simply because the label said so, they look at you wondering if your medicine dosage isn’t right and go on believing their own truth.

So I can’t fix all of them, but I’ll settle for the knowledge that I’m doing my best to impact as many as possible. We might not straighten out the world, but we can sure make an impression on those who cross our paths.  All that’s ever required of us is to live by the Light we’ve been given. 

Oh, and when the little girl came to pick up her instrument, I told her what had been repaired and showed her how to avoid a repeat visit, without ever mentioning my conversation with her band director.  I’m thinking that 13 year old girls already have enough drama in their lives without me adding to it…

Going to check my medicine labels now…

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