Mother Teresa on Using Kind Words
Tuesday Quotes are short explorations of music, life, and the daily endeavor of practicing classical guitar. Enjoy!
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”Mother Teresa
For some reason, it can be easier to speak kind words to others than it is to speak them to ourselves. All too often, we bark commands or scold ourselves without mercy.
Master film-maker Ken Burns has three reminders for himself and his family:
“This will pass. Get help from others. Be kind to yourself.”
And he is quick to admit that the third is the toughest.
In the lifelong project of guitar, there will be challenges. We work at the edge of our ability as a matter of course. Trial – failure – adjustment. These form a perpetual cycle that leads to learning and progress.
And for most of us, life has a way of filling our schedules and shouldering guitar practice to the side. It takes diligence and creativity to keep a practice going. Sometimes, we’re forced to take a break, whether we like it or not.
So it matters what we say to ourselves when we don’t succeed. What we say in the hard times affects how long those hard times last.
When we use kind words and language to ourselves, we stay more engaged and curious. We feel motivated. We experiment more confidently. We’re more likely to take new risks and brave new territories. And we’re able to keep working at new skills, even if we don’t see the results yet.
Guitar is something we do for fun, intellectual stimulation, and physical challenge. It’s not “necessary” – it’s a bonus in life. As such, we can keep it lighthearted. Serious, yes. But lighthearted.