Inspiration

I cannot believe I only have 5 weeks left in New Delhi. With time flying by, I have consciously taken moments to stop and appreciate the once in a lifetime journey on which I have embarked. I have acknowledged how blessed I am to be in a community of such inspiring people. I am thankful to have met all the faculty and students at GMI as well as the new friends I have made on my morning walks, at concerts and on my trip to Dharamshala.

 

I have been surrounded by talented, intelligent and innovative people my whole life. As the youngest in my family, I have always looked up to my parents and siblings. They each played an instrument and served as my first musical influences. They all have followed their occupational dreams and have succeeded in their respective fields. Most importantly, they are supportive of each other and the people with which they share their world.

 

As a camper and staff member at Camp Kadimah, I met some of my life-long friends. Apart from being some of the funniest people I know, their passion and capability in their areas of study are remarkable. From computer science to medicine to business, I know that each one of my camp friends will be successful in whatever they choose to do in life. The combination of their intelligence and drive provide them with endless possibilities.

 

At Rosedale Heights School of the Arts and Berklee I encountered two gifted communities of artists. I collaborate with and am inspired by the friends I met at these institutions every day. Whenever we jam or I listen to their latest recordings I learn something new. They push me to get better every day.

 

Every now and then I become overwhelmed by the amount of talent that surrounds me. Particularly in my first year at Berklee I experienced self-doubt about my abilities as a musician. When I graduated I felt lost as I observed the success of my siblings and friends. It is common for all of us to compare ourselves to our buddies, colleagues and family. We constantly witness their achievements and expect ourselves to reach those milestones simultaneously. We may even be resentful when one of our peers accomplishes the equivalent of one of our goals before we do.

 

In these moments one has to find a balance between competition and inspiration. It can be beneficial to be fueled by the triumphs of others. Their success can drive us to push ourselves to greater heights. However, we must remember that we are all on our own path. The road to fulfillment and happiness is a marathon and not a sprint. Moreover, instead of being intimidated or aggrieved by the talent or attainments of others, we should be grateful that the stars aligned for us to meet and befriend these people that enrich our lives. We must remember that we inspire them as well. When Oscar Peterson first heard the virtuosic piano player Art Tatum he became depressed. He rightfully said to himself that he could never perform like Tatum. But the fact was that Tatum could never play like Peterson either. This is the beauty of art and life in general. We are each unique beings that offer something of our own to the world that no one else can. Once we realize this we can move forward on our path instead of being distracted by the travels of others along the way.

 

Sincerely,

Jacob