In Paraguay, there is a village settled beside a landfill. These people are the poorest of the poor, scraping a life together by scavenging through the garbage that is hauled the dump every day. You might think that these people would sink into despair, but something extraordinary emerged from their village–an orchestra. A REAL orchestra, with violins, cellos, flutes and trumpets all made from pieces of garbage. The link to the story is HERE. (I really recommend it. Have you ever heard a recycled tin can cello?)
Now, this story excited me, and not just because of the whole “lemons to lemonade” application. While I admire that strength of human spirit, something else stood out for me–these aren’t professional musicians. These are kids who were literally raised in a garbage dump, and they’re playing classical music in an orchestra, using the instruments they can make out of empty cans and pipes.
These kids were taught–of course–but they weren’t raised in privilege, attending preschools for the arts. Someone got an idea when they found the shell of a violin in the garbage, and an orchestra was born.
How many times do we say, “I’d do it if… I had more money, had more time, were better at public speaking…” I’m sure I have ten things on that list, things I think are neat, but have never done.
I love writing. I took my English degree because of my passion for the written word, but a BA in English Lit doesn’t make me a writer. A writer is the person who writes and writes and writes. Regardless of education. Regardless of current skill level. Regardless of all the people who might think they are wasting their time. That’s a writer.
A musician is the person who can’t be silenced, even by a garbage dump.
Do you have anything you’d love to try, but just never got around to?