I started the Landmark Self Expression and Leadership Program (SELP) last week. It is a four-month program in which I will be taking on a community leadership project.
The project I’m taking on is a developer forum that brings assistive technology to the realm of musical instruments to make them accessible to people who would like to play and are otherwise stopped with a physical challenge. The outcome of this project by April is five working prototypes, each one targeting a different instrument.
Since the day that I embraced that this is the project I’m choosing for my SELP I’ve talked to a number of people about it and have noticed some interesting coincidences popping up.
What is so right now
I’ve talked to a percussionist who does not play anymore, he is stopped with a condition similar to MS.
I’ve talked to a person who used to play guitar, does not anymore, he is stopped with pain (fibromyalgia?).
I’ve talked to a person who does not play guitar due to fat fingers.
Recently in the news Bono of U2 announced that he might never play guitar again following an accident in which he broke his arm.
The guy with MS does not play anymore and says he has found other ways to enjoy music – e.g. working at a music store. But he does not play.
The predictable future
If no action is taken, people like those described above remain in a place where they have given up hope of ever playing. Their full expression is diminished. A part of their talent remains bottled up without a means to express it, share it with others and to fully contribute.
A new possibility
Imagine if Beethoven had been stopped by his deafness from composing his works. What would be missing from the world today? That which would be missing is what is possible for the future. The possibility of full musical expression.
I already had a lot on my plate. It only makes sense that I would take this on and add even more responsibility in my life.