Rosicrucian Writings Online
[From The Rosicrucian Digest February 1946]
A NUMBER of years ago it was my happy privilege to assist in solving a problem for a lass of twelve years who had many beautiful qualities in her make-up, and yet for reasons unknown to her the girls of the so-called "best circles" at school gave her the icy stare. After talking the matter over and probing the resources of her personality, I found that Mary (we will call her) was deeply talented in music--far more than she realized. In fact, her love for the art of tone combinations was so pronounced that she was rather top heavy on the subject of music. There was scarcely an hour of the day that melodies were not running through her mind.
The girl was a beginner on the piano, and yet was giving little thought to the technique that a musician must acquire. She was doing not much more than playing the numbers she had studied, merely for the purpose of hearing the melodies they contained. I suggested that if she would delve deeply into the study of music and become more proficient than the youngsters who were mistreating her, the vexatious predicament would become history.
Mary, naturally, thought this was a rather long road to traverse, but was told that in her case there were no shorter routes. (Having solved some similar problems for myself along this line when I was a youth, the treatment method was fairly well known to me.)
Mary argued with herself for several days. She did not tell me what her decision was, but soon it came to my ears that she suddenly developed an unusual desire to study music. She asked her teacher to push her, and the teacher, glad to find a talented pupil who really wanted to work, placed the force of her experience behind her.
Some months later came the annual joint-recital of the advanced pupils of all the teachers in the city. Each instructor was privileged to enter one pupil, and Mary was selected to represent her teacher on the program.
As a newspaper reporter, I was present to write the story for the music column of the society section. The affair was held in the outdoor living room of a fashionable home on a beautiful afternoon in May. The trees and flowers made a lovely background of inspiration for the recitalists. Looking over the program, I saw that a number of the participants were those who had been unkind to Mary.
In the contest that was to ensue, it was apparent that Mary had an advantage, for she was scheduled to play the adagio movement from Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. By far, it was the prettiest number on the program, so far as harmonic beauty is concerned. Since I was vitally interested in her progress, it is needless to say that I was sending Mary my very best wishes.
Mary's turn to play came. She was next to last on the program. The little snobs had all performed, and they gave mediocre accounts of themselves. They appeared as if they had nothing to lose, for, as the expression goes, "they rated." With Mary, the case was different. She had to triumph. She sat down in front of the piano with the grace of an old music master, perfect poise in all her gestures. From the moment she began the beautiful movement, everyone in the audience was in rapt attunement with her and her lovely music.
Of course, the sonata has great depths that only the adult, who has had years of technical training and has lived the life of much experience, can express in all richness and fullness. But little Mary, though only twelve, had studied hard and had suffered a lot, and she injected all of the technical training that she had had, and all the emotions that were the result of her suffering into Beethoven's heavenly creation.
She won the laurels of the recital. And she also educed the compliments of the little girls who had treated her unkindly, for they were polite enough to tell her she had performed much nicer than they.
This was the beginning of greater things for Mary. She found after a while that she did not really want the companionship of these little girls. She discovered her world was composed of people who wanted to do beautiful things--to create, to develop talents and give them to the public. Pre-eminently and above all, she wanted to become a pianist. Her social problem was discarded as so much rubbish to the scrap heap.
Within a short time she outgrew her teacher. She went to another city, and again became the outstanding student. Mary not only studied Bach (so dry to the average youngster), but she even memorized practically all of his inventions. She studied Mozart, Tschaikovsky, Beethoven, Liszt, Schumann, Grieg, McDowell. Her work in harmony was completed in record time. In composition, she won the first prize of the district meet. And finally, she was given a conservatory scholarship by reason of her hard work and musical aptitude.
I have lost track of Mary, but have learned through friends that she finished at the conservatory and became a very good pianist.
Mary learned some great lessons from the little heartaches her schoolmates had given her. It taught her to be compassionate with those whose standing is rather unstable. But the greatest lesson she learned was that the best remedy for a rebuff is to go within oneself and develop something beautiful and use it in daily life.
The cure for little Mary's troubles will work for the adult equally as well as for the adolescent. We are never too old to pursue a new hobby, or to develop a latent talent. We might not be in a position to use it professionally for various reasons, but we can use it in a nonprofessional way to augment our personality.
The new study does not have to be music. Chemistry, art, dancing, mathematics, languages, astronomy--all are personality builders. And incidentally they are heart-healers. For when we become absorbed in the study of any art or science, we forget the petty babblings of the unthinking masses, or the jibes and diatribes of someone whom we think owes us much more consideration than he is showing us.
Many times the reading of an inspiring book will give us an entirely different perspective of our friends; or the writing of an article for a newspaper or magazine will do wonders in this direction.
Students of mystical or higher teachings, above all others, cannot afford to waste time wondering why someone has, without cause, turned his back on them. If, instead of going from person to person telling of the offense and urging listeners to agree that the offender was atrocious, one will develop himself into a musician, an artist, a dancer, a writer, mathematician, chemist, or an excellent cook, he will find, as little Mary found, that he not only has won the admiration of those who had slighted or mistreated him, but he will find he is part of a creative world which has little time for pettiness.
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