I once asked a violinist what she thought about Lindsey Stirling. It was after a holiday meal. I thought it was a polite question. I had no idea that the road our conversation was going down would take such a sharp turn up the steep hill to passionate in less than a second.
By the time I realized where we were I had conversational whiplash. I listened to an otherwise mild mannered violinist leak unkind thoughts towards someone else who made their living with the same instrument.
What I thought they would have in common they did not. Sure both instruments look the same. The other half the the conversation quickly advocated that to the trained ear they do not sound the same. I noticed this too. Lindsey Stirling’s playing doesn’t sound like the violin solo in Scheherazade.
I took my boys to see Lindsey Stirling in concert in Munich a few years ago. That concert showed how Lindsey offers something different than just a precisely excellent performance. During her concert she repeatedly offered messages of hope and courage for those dealing with depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. She made the evening enjoyable.
Her music was a part of the message, but her message was much more than her music.
How often do we see a part of something and miss viewing it as part of a whole? Lindsey’s marketability is her message and her music is a part of her way of expressing that, but if you only pay attention to the music and what it’s lacking it might be very easy to miss the greater picture.
I had the ability to politely share this with the violinist over dinner. I felt like I learned to help her see more than what she had seen before.
I hope I can be receptive when people try to help me see the larger context in my life. Seeing only a part of something is a human condition and I’m just as prone to it as anyone else. I only hope I can be a better learner than I am today. If you choose to help me, please be kind.