[reprinted from my former site How to Tune a Human, January 9, 2009]
I make and sell guitars. Unusual guitars that you can play without strumming or picking, and this lets you play strings with both hands, so you can play bass strings and guitar strings at the same time. The name of this instrument is the Mobius Megatar.
Recently, a college student had inquired because he wanted to get one of our instruments. We wrote back and forth, and he was all set to go, but then he sent me this email —
“I’m sorry but the Megatar is not in the picture any more. I was coerced into buying a 2700 dollar classical guitar from a company that gives referral bonuses to the teacher who I was coerced by, so I’m left broke and on crappy terms with my main teacher for the next 3 years.
“I really wish I had the cash and time to delve into a tapstyle instrument right now, and if I could, it’d be a Mobius with Bartolini pickups, but it seems like that won’t be available for a while. With student loans and a no emergency funds (thanks to the aforementioned jerk of a teacher) I’ll be lucky if my car makes it without scheduled servicing for the next 6 months.”
What is really odd is that I got another email from another college student, in a similar situation who told me something of a similar story, that he’d been required (or perhaps urged) to get a nylon-string guitar for some upcoming course work. However, the second student seemed much less bitter.
And it got me to thinking. I can understand the disappointment he must feel.
And actually, it does sound kind of crappy behavior for the college music instructor, to push the student toward an instrument that pays the instructor a commission.
On the other hand …
On the other hand, that’s the past, and I’m guessing that it’s a pretty good guitar, and I expect that the young man will get quite a bit of good out of it. So I suggested that he might as well see if he could let some of the bitterness go.
If somebody makes you angry, it’s as if they have given you a heavy rock to carry around. You can go into the other room, but you’re still carrying the rock. Over time, it seems like the rock grows heavier and heavier and heavier.
The person who triggered the unhappiness, perhaps they are good perhaps they are bad, but in any event most of the time these other humans are doing about the best that they can with the training and insight that they possess; most people are like you and me. Sometimes we are good people. Sometimes we are bad people, but generally we are doing the best that we can. Because, if you knew how to do better, you would do better, wouldn’t you?
Even the fools and jerks are about the same.
Generally speaking, you cannot do too much about the ignorance or wrong choices of other people, but you do make your own choices.
At this point, might you be able to consider this idea? … Throw down the rock. Let it roll away. Someone else can pick it up, if they want to. Might that make your passage through the days … lighter?
You’re young or you’re old. Either way, there are lots of adventures ahead.
Time enough for things that are important.
For example, if you think you want a Megatar, start picturing it, allow yourself to think of it as something you *already possess*. Something you already have, in the fullness of time. Perhaps you don’t see the way right this minute, but that’s the way of all life. You don’t see all life right now. And the first step is to see it, decided that it’s on the way, picture it, enjoy that you have it … and generally it will show up, often sooner than you’d have thought, just because that’s the future you are creating.
You create your life as you go, moment by moment, with your thoughts and with your perceptions.
Perceive tragedy and all around you tragedy abounds, and with your thoughts, future tragedies begin to take form.
Perceive what you want, and the good things you enjoy, and all round you, good things exist, and you create more good things a-coming.
Your Megatar is just one of the good things coming to you. You have a wonderful life unfolding.