A Lesson I Learned from a Man with a Fiddle

Acrylic Paint, Sumi Ink and Gel Pen on Palette Paper

I was having a rather normal day, running errands and getting things done. As I left the grocery store I suddenly heard very loud fiddle music. I knew the tune and noticed that I had a new spring in my step. I looked around to find the source of the music. I noticed everyone else in the parking lot was doing the same thing, looking to find the source of the lively music. I noticed a man playing the fiddle next to a mobile amplifier. He was dancing, smiling and having a good time. As I walked closer to him, I noticed a sign next to the amplifier. He was basically using his fiddle playing to pan handle.

There are so many people who stand along highway exits, at the end of halls, and in public places pan handling that I have to admit that I have become numb to their need. I found myself curious about what the fiddle player’s sign said, so I walked closer. His sign read. “I have a full time job, My hours have been cut due to the Corona virus, I have a wife and three children and we do not have enough money to pay our rent. Please help.” I pulled out all the cash in my wallet and put it in his bucket.

I cried as I walked back to my car. I was humbled and admired this man that did whatever he could to take care of his family. His full time job was no longer cutting it, so he proudly stood and shared his musical skill with strangers to raise money for rent. Sure the sign could have been a ploy to get more money, that doesn’t matter. What it reminded me was that we each need to do what we can no matter what it looks like to others. We have lots of skills, lots of options, and our attitude is the only thing preventing us from being successful. This man was doing whatever it took to make sure his family had a roof over their head.

For me it was a reminder of my blessings, a reminder that none of us are victims of circumstance, we are only limited by our self imposed restrictions. My energy was revived and I hummed the tune he played all afternoon.

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