We’re all in this together

Music is beautiful. Sometimes words cannot express how a piece of music affects us, transforms us, heals us, or takes us beyond the everyday.

A few months ago, I found a YouTube video of a beautiful Cello Quartet version of the well-known classical piece Canon in D by Pachelbel. I have always loved this piece but to hear it played with my favorite instrument, the cello (and four of them at that), was incredible. Not only is the rendition divine, but the cellist Charles Wang is deeply talented. His gentle and playful presence heightens the magic of the music. I love the way Charles presents the piece in four different windows and dresses up slightly differently for each part.

After watching the YouTube video again weeks later, I felt inspired and humbled by the beauty of life and my place in it. At the time I was writing the draft of my upcoming novel Fly Away Breath and going through yet another period of self-doubt and self-criticism. Watching the music video helped me to take a step back from what I was doing and gain a little perspective. If you have the time, take a look at the clip—even if it’s just for a minute as I understand not everyone likes classical music.

Sometimes in life we can easily look at other people’s successes and achievements and feel deflated that we have nothing important or unique to offer the world. But it’s this very comparison that prevents us from taking even one step toward uncovering and expressing our innate brilliance. And brilliance doesn’t have to be earth-shattering and world-changing. Not everyone can play those roles. Like Mother Teresa said, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

Let’s take the cello clip as an example. The song is made up of four performers. Without each performer, the music is not complete and nowhere near as beautiful. It’s a bit like life really. Not everyone can play the heart-pulling melody. Some of us have to play the simple and repetitive base. Some of us have to play the support role of the background harmony. Some of us need to be cool, and others more reserved. And yet, we all have a role to play, and life would not be as beautiful if we each didn’t play our role to the best of our ability. It’s not about the perceived greatness of the role (which is subjective anyway), it’s more about the love and joy we put into the role and the way this love and joy spread out into the world.

We can’t all be famous actors, award-winning writers, technology millionaires, presidents, or brilliant musicians, but we can all find our unique groove and play it out loud with love.