Few of my great clients know that I played drums and sang professionally for 17 years while advancing a business career. And for 42 years since I last played for an audience, my drum set has sat patiently waiting to be brought back to life by a pair of sticks.
It occurred to me recently that maybe after 42 years I should start to think about parting with my beloved drum set..........after all, 42 years is really a very, very long time to believe I would ever begin playing again. So what to do.........
Then, by Providence, it came to me ever so clearly............I would feel complete if I could find just the right high school drum student whose life would be transformed by my simple act of paying it forward. I can remember the day my Dad agreed to buy my first set when I was in high school and wanting to start a band for dances. And it really did change my life.
If I could be successful in my quest, I would be planting a seed........a seed that could someday lead to big and wonderful things for someone else..........a drummer so deserving of a first big break.........a drummer who could take the confidence I would place in them, and run with it.
Finally, after a series of various levels of educators at local schools made their recommendations, a particular young lad stood out to me. So I invited his family and him to spend some time over a hot chocolate at a local bookstore/coffee shop, just to chat and get to know this young man and his parents who would be pivotal in making things work around the home if their son would be practicing on his new set.
On the day of our get together, his Mom was not feeling well, so only the Dad and his son, Casey, came along. We spent a long time just getting to know each other and hearing about the young man's goals and plans for his school years. As a freshman this year, he appeared to have all the attributes in a recipient that I was looking for.
It felt like I was the MC at an awards show when I announced that I would like to give my drum set to him. It make Me feel very, very good...........and He was so very glad to hear my decision. I knew he was the most perfect candidate I could hope to find. And I was at peace.
A few days later his Dad came to pick up the set and we packed it with care into his SUV. There was no remorse nor second thoughts, only hopefulness that it would bring him as much joy as I did me. The taillights disappeared down the highway, and part of my heart went along, too.
Weeks went by in my busy life until today when a special little card arrived in my PO Box.......a very special little card, indeed. I read it..........and slowly reread it, letting it all sink in.
Written from the heart it read.........."Thank you so much for the new drum set. You are opening up a lot of new and exciting possibilities. I could not be more grateful. Thank you. Casey".
There are times when it all comes full circle, times when you know in your core you have done the right thing.......times when you realize you have just dropped a pebble in another soul's personal pond and the ripples are the evidence of the difference I have made in a life.......and perhaps even generations of lives.
Casey..........it is I who is ever so grateful to You............now go out there and make your very own mark on the world. I have every confidence in You.