Look Around, Folks!

It is so easy to point out what is wrong with people or situations these days. It is all around us – all the time. The person who can not hold a door open for the next customer at the convenience store, the person who races you to a parking spot, the person who blows through a stop sign almost hitting you and gives a look that says YOU were wrong, even the person who thinks taking a gun and killing a bunch of strangers is the answer to their problems – are all situations that make us point out what is wrong with people; and the list goes on and on and on.
There are many days I shake my head, and wonder just why everyone is so angry all the damn time! It is really sickening to me.
Take this example, for instance: this is one that is my greatest fears given the world that we live in. A man who lives near a high school does not like the “noise” the school’s marching band produces. So what is the answer? He takes an enormous pellet gun and shoot the kids. Seriously?
However, this blog post is not about that recent news story, and it is not about gun violence and/or control. It is about realizing that if you look a little closer and take some time, you will find many people who are still good people out there. I can promise you that.
Now, I finished a lecture for the Connecticut Education Association last afternoon. Over 15 students – including students from Vermont and New Jersey decided to sign up for the lecture! Last year, I lectured on the role of male teachers in education. This year (today), it is on the importance of music education and how to implement it in classrooms (primary, pre-service and elementary) for teaching candidates currently in college that have no musical experience whatsoever. It was an introduction. I hope the students understood the power of music, even if it is arguably the only thing they learned. So anyway, at the end of the interactive lecture, I told the students that every good teacher has a sense of closure – I then asked each person what they learned from this, what things did impress them, what things did not impress them, etc. One student said to me “Of all the lectures that I been to today, you were the only one who was actually prepared and knew what we were doing. Very organized and I still can not even believe you are a sophomore!” Others complimented not me, but the lecture and how they took something away.
Forgive me, because there were other moments that I encountered good people in the last two weeks, but I forgot them. Sooner or later, I am going to do a follow up to this blog post (hopefully) to mention the moments.
However, for now …
Whether it is someone paying for your dinner, or someone returning a wallet with money that you lost, or someone doing a favor for you in which they gave up their own time, or even in my case, someone paying you a small compliment – take a moment and look around folks: wake up and realize there are GOOD people living in the world. Today helped me to realize that so I can share that with you.
On a side note, I am happy that I have students today that will leave my presentation with an appreciation and an understanding for music that has not been discovered during their years growing up. That potential feeling (whether they leave with that) is one that makes me thankful for what I do. For music and even art for that matter, it is not taught to people in this world because it is “irrelevant” or “boring” or “a waste of time.” Rather, it is so people can be more human – and again, help make people understand that a little bit of appreciation and understanding can go such a long way, helping people to find, realize and BE the good people living in this world.

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