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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