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Thursday, May 9, 2019

Keeping The Path Clear

What misstep did others make with you early in life that you've worked purposefully to avoid doing with others over the ensuing years?

Given the amount of encouragement and support I've received over my life - including in my early years - I'm sometimes caught short at the amount of power I gave to the small number of people who were not as encouraging. The outsize influence I allowed those few early naysayers to have over my subsequent creative pursuits turned out to be both foolish and counter-productive.

The good news? I've worked purposefully to encourage the creative pursuits of nearly every person I've ever met. Long ago, I decided to do for others as my parents did for me regarding my music - encourage folks to express themselves through this magical medium. I've also affirmed the budding efforts of most every writer I've come across - just as both my sisters did with my teenage poetry and my partner of forty one years has done with all my writing - songs, articles, memoirs, this blog.

Over my many years as an instructor, I've tried hard to be honest but kind with every beginning guitar student I've had. Even when I'm reasonably sure a life as a musician is not in a student's future, I keep it to myself. I recall well the negative bozos on my bus and the effect their barbs sometimes had when I played and sang. And I know that even if music is not the path that will help unleash the creativity of some of my students, I'd rather emulate the model of my parents, my sisters, my wife, my high school English teacher Mrs. Cavico; I assist in keeping the path to creative expression clear. How can it hurt to encourage someone else's creative endeavors? I'm not suggesting false praise. A simple, sincere statement of encouragement will do. In my experience, doing this can help people find their way to some method of creative expression. What has been your experience?    

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