But this isn’t the only thing that formed and molded him into the person he would become. Receiving a harp from his mother, Harpo set about learning how to play. No one he knew, knew how to play the instrument, so after observing a picture of an angel holding one, he attempted to tune it himself, using a single basic note and working from there. Years later he discovered he had not tuned it correctly. He hired experienced musicians to teach him how to play the harp accurately, but instead of perfecting his craft in the accepted way, his style and music fascinated his teachers. His approach, elegance and personal manner was actually preferred in movie performances when he played the harp.
This story is remarkable. How many of us give up when we are up against insurmountable odds---- or even lightly challenging obstacles? We choose to get angry, kick and scream, pound our fists and then walk away defeated!
Life is full of challenges. We all have them, that’s why there are experts! People are trained in all sorts of professions, from financial, automotive, sewing, cooking, bookkeeping, farming, engineering, medicine, teaching and on and on with a nearly inexhaustible list! Still, we are left to face tough challenges, those outside our home or immediate circle, don’t necessarily know anything about.
As Harpo experienced in elementary school, there is bullying and that problem seems no better today than it was decades ago. The only criteria is hatred toward someone’s size, faith, financial status, ethnicity, race or even intelligence (or lack of!) The hatred boils over into meanness and aggression, causing some children to give up and commit suicide! How positively tragic! Other family’s hide secrets of abuse, or molestation; a family member in jail, huge medical issues, or a hundred other things!
It’s how we deal with all these ‘challenges’ that matter. I’m not suggesting we need to shrug them off and ignore what life throws at us. But be inspired by the ‘Harpo Marx’s’ of the world. We can't give up or give in when we are passionate about what we believe. Sometimes it requires taking an alternate route to get where we are going, acquiring a new degree, learning a new trade, asking for help, walking away from a bad situation, taking the road less traveled, or other creative options, while stepping away from ourselves and seeing the whole picture.
It’s not easy. But it can be done and we can play “our” harp and make unique beautiful music right where we are. Fascinate those around you with your resiliency. Make your mark and follow your path, despite the odds. You can do it! I believe in you!