Do what you love for your sake, it seriously doesn’t matter if others value what you are doing or not!
Last evening we were at a book launch event. The event had three parts – a formal part with speeches, a music concert by a young band and cocktails/dinner. Once the formal part was over, the master of ceremonies invited everyone to stay on for a musical treat. The refreshments, we understood, would be served after the concert.
The band was introduced: Baradwaj Raman on the Veena, Sabi on the Blues Guitar and Vetri on a unique Peruvian percussion instrument called Cajon (pronounced kahon). The trio were awesome. They fused classical Carnatic compositions on the Veena with blues rhythm on the guitar and the Cajon’s Afro-Peruvian beats. Unfortunately, someone seems to have whispered that the bar was open and slowly, over one song, many members of the audience slinked away to an adjoining hall. We were just a few left in the audience now. And one of the organizers gestured to the band to wind up after playing one last number. But the band pressed on. They enjoyed the process thoroughly – of playing together, being immersed in their music, even as some of us – the few who were still in the audience – soaked in some fantastic renditions of great classical compositions! Baradwaj (he’s the grandson of Veena legend S.Balachander) is an upcoming artist, just as Sabi (he’s the official blues guitarist for composer G.V.Prakash) and Vetri (he’s a disciple of Drums Shivamani) are. But by no means was their performance amateurish. So, those in the audience who preferred Johnnie Walker over the concert did so because of their lack of courtesy to the performing artists than anything else.
Even so, the bigger, spiritual, learning for me, came from the reaction of the three members of the band. They were unmindful of who left or who stayed, they played for the joy of music, for their inner joy and for the joy of their being who they are.
This is a great spiritual quality. If you examine your Life objectively, you will realize that most of the time, a lot of what you do is dictated by what you think others (will) think about you. While social niceties are important, you don’t need to strive to be gratified by fulfilling them alone. In fact, nothing other than your inner joy can truly gratify you. So, when something like what happened yesterday happens, well, you just carry on, you just go on playing. Simply, you can’t control the maturity levels of the people around you. You can’t demand they do what you believe they must do. All you can and must do, in any situation or context in Life, is do what you have to do while choosing to be unruffled and unfrustrated by what’s going on.