How Dependency is a GOOD Thing for Me (and Maybe You?)

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Recently, I traveled to and spoke at the Oregon MTA conference and the Rochester & Nazareth Piano Teacher’s League workshops. I was blessed by how friendly all of these teachers were and their spirit and generosity deserve an entire blog post by itself.

But something else struck me in my travels and in the months preceding that positively affected my travel adventures, my interactions with my students and customers, and my general interaction with all the people in my life. It’s this:

I started to realize how dependent I am on others.

Do you realize how dependent we are on each other? I started thinking about this when I read a book and the author mentioned how all aspects of nature are so dependent on each other. The flower that blooms is completely dependent on the soil, sun, water, and the general process of photosynthesis to do their jobs. And in turn, the things that the flower depends on are also dependent on something else, which are dependent on something else, etc.

Then, I started thinking about how I am dependent on you! I can compose music and create resources ad nauseum, but if no one is interested, purchases them, tells others about them, or gives me positive feedback to encourage more creation, then I too eventually wither like the flower. I am dependent on you in so many ways!

plane-gasWhile traveling, I realize how dependent I am on the person who created Expedia.com to do their job in an accurate way to ensure that I actually have a digital ticket. When I go through security, I depend on TSA to help ensure a flight free from terrorists. When I stop to purchase a Sprite at a vendor in the airport, I am dependent on them providing this service so that I can have something in case my blood sugar goes low.

I depend on air traffic control to get my plane safely in and out of the air. I depend on the checker inner (not a real term) to let me on the plane even though I am late. I am dependent on the taxi driver to know her way and be on time. I am dependent on room service to get me my meal on time so that I can have breakfast since there is no time to get it elsewhere. I am even dependent on my alarm clock (don’t ask me how many I set) to wake me up at 3:30 a.m. to catch my early morning flight!

What’s the big deal about dependence?**

crew-member-316180_1280Well for me, it makes me grateful. Grateful for every person…the people earning minimum wage and those with extensive training. And it helps me realize that I am no better than any person. I am valuable. You are valuable. The person loading baggage on the airplane is valuable. And this helps me be actively grateful for everyone.

In my recent trip, I started saying “thank you” for all the people that were contributing to my life. I’m sure none of them knew that I was thanking God for them, unless I actually stopped to say thank you (which is another thing I’m working on), but regardless, that attitude of thanksgiving really impacted and excited my travels.

Each of us has such an opportunity to make a difference in so many people’s lives, even when we don’t know that we make a difference. Each of us is here on this earth in a unique time, place, and situation than anyone. And even in the most banal of circumstances, we have the ability to help and encourage those along our way.

Think about your life for a minute. You are obviously connecting to, engaging with, and investing in your students. But you are also a part of each of their parent’s lives as well. You are a unique part of the life of people in your community and in your neighborhood. You are a unique part of your family. And you also might just be connected and influential in that person who checks you out at the grocery store every week.

Every conversation, every email, every text, and every FB post is an opportunity to positively affect those in your life.

Thank you!

ThanksSo thank you for being a part of my life. Though I haven’t met most of you, your emails, your orders, your visits to the site, your telling others about this blog, and the impact you are having in your own students is something that I can be a part of. What a privilege. Thank you for giving me that.

I am dependent on you. And I can’t think of a more lovely group of people on which to be dependent.

p.s. I’m certainly not advocating unhealthy co-dependency relationships. So, if you just skimmed the article, read it again more carefully. I hope it’s pretty clear that I’m talking about something very different.

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12 Comments

  1. Anna June 29, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    Aw – we’re thankful for you, too! Actually, I’ve been making a BIG effort in the past year to focus more on all the things I’m thankful for, and have built a number of rituals into my day to accomplish this. It has made a HUGE difference in my life!

  2. Jeannie July 1, 2015 at 7:38 am

    This email just reminds me of how much each of us need others. Instead of focusing on everything that is wrong in our life, let’s begin to focus on everything that is right! The things that we take for granted are really blessings from our Heavenly Father and I for one is thankful for the reminder of all the blessings in my life.

  3. Barbara July 1, 2015 at 8:47 am

    What a wonderful reminder, Wendy. It IS very easy to take people for granted in our busy, busy world. I like Anna’s comment about “ritual” and have one to share: Each morning pick an item that you own and then start tracking back to figure out how many people (or nature) had a hand in getting it to you. For each person you discover send a blessing their way. Today you can start with your piano…mother nature for the trees, lumberjacks, people who built equipment to cut down trees, people who built trucks to transport…lots of blessing you can share with just a “simple” piano:)

    Thanks again for this reminder and let me just say how very grateful I am that you generously share your gifts, talent and hard work with us. This post is just one example of why I’m so happy to be a part of your community.

  4. Barbara July 1, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Anna,
    I’d love to hear about some of your rituals if you would like to share:)

  5. Janelle Bracken July 1, 2015 at 10:26 am

    It is so refreshing to read of your thankfulness, Wendy, and that you are eager to be positive and supportive of others. What a wonderful reminder of how we need to be grateful for our unique place in this world, and to make the MOST of it! I am so thankful to be a piano teacher! Today is the first day of my 25th year of teaching, and I began my studio with faith and lots of prayers, and with one eager student. I am feeling especially thankful today, and plan to celebrate all year long. A lot of people in society today seem unfazed by the miracle that so many details work out for our good. I noticed the glow you seem to have in the photos taken at your recent meetings. You seemed so happy and grateful, and it showed in your eyes. Hope I can meet you sometime at a conference or somewhere. I’m very thankful to be connected professionally with YOU!

  6. Chris Wolf July 1, 2015 at 11:32 am

    You rock, Wendy. Thank you for being you!

  7. Wendy Stevens July 1, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Thanks so much for your kind words! Yes, I agree with Barbara, Anna! I’d love to hear more about the rituals you’ve been doing every day to practice gratefulness.

  8. Wendy Stevens July 1, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    It would be lovely to meet you too, Janelle! Yes, I am so happy and blessed and I’m glad you can see it. I hope it brings blessing to those that I’m around. Thank you so much for your kind words! We are indeed blessed to be piano teachers!

  9. Wendy Stevens July 1, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Insert emoji with red cheeks, Chris. You are kind.

  10. Wendy Stevens July 1, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    You Barbara, that reminds me of a DVD series we watched last year that did that very thing about a table that was being made. It reflected on all the many hands that had touched it, prepared it, made it, and brought it to the place where it blessed others. Thank you for reminding me of that activity. That’s a little of what was going through my mind as I was looking out the plane window. One person who touches another who touches another’s life!

  11. Paulette July 2, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    It was such a treat to have you in Oregon! Your enthusiasm and energy was unforgettable. It was so great to meet you after following your blog for such a long time. Thank you for all you do! And sharing your life with all of us…..

  12. Jan Hess July 3, 2015 at 7:17 am

    My teacher friends and I have come to be great admirers or yours and with your last post, I realize your God given gift of bringing out the best in others! You are a gift to us all!

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