Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Lesson of the Guitar

When I was 13 years old I asked for a guitar for christmas. My plan was to teach myself how to play (its been done, why cant I?) The only problem was that I expected to learn how to really play just from randomly plucking the strings. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I thought "surely I will become good at it if I put in enough time with my guitar." I didn't understand that when someone teaches themself, they at least look up different chords and how to play. They have a book, or look on the internet or something. It takes more than just time and a guitar, it takes knowledge and actual effort.

I find myself relating a lot of things in life to this experience with the guitar. Just because you spend a lot of time with a person hanging out, it doesn't mean you automatically have a strong tie to them. Just because you have been working in a certain industry for a long time, you aren't necessarily better at it than someone else. Time is very subjective. This all sounds obvious, but society generally views situations more like I did with the guitar when I was 13. People respect your friendship more if you tell people you have known each other from childhood. Teachers get paid more the longer they work for a school. But I could be better friends with a person that I met last week than someone I've known my whole life. Sometimes a nineteen year old girl would make a better teacher than Mrs. Johnson who has been teaching for fifty years. And sometimes its better to sell a guitar at a garage sale for ten dollars after five years of never being able to play.

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