Watch the parade or be in the parade?

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Growing up I had the opportunity to see many parades and I told myself that I don’t just want to see a parade; one day, I want to be in the parade! This goes back to a previous post where I talked about being a dreamer and a doer. You dream it and then do it! What is your parade? What would you like to do and no longer sit on the sidelines?

In my case, a good friend of mine was the Pipe Major of a small military pipe band and said they were looking for drummers. Now understand that I am not musically inclined. He provided an opportunity and I could have easily shied away but instead I faced it head on. I went to his house on a Tuesday to try it out and we had a practice session with the other 4 members and then the question was posed by the Pipe Major. “Sam, I realize you have never drummed or paraded or marched. The drumming you can learn but what I need is commitment. Can you commit to be a part of the band and show up for practices and performances?” My response was a resounding yes because I know about commitment. Now that was Tuesday, come Friday I went to the regimental drill hall to get my uniform and drum and to watch the band. There I stood, uniform and drum in hand and my Pipe Major said…”OK, everyone fall in, we are about to parade and perform for the regiment and Sam…that includes you”. With a smile, the Pipe Major told me that all I need to do is hit the drum for every step we take and thankfully, that I was not leading…just follow the person in front of you  With that, I started my 11 year term with the BC Regiment Irish Pipes and Drums.

I marched in many parades, performed at many events, became the communications officer who got the word out about our band, attained the rank of Corporal and helped grow our band to 25 strong. I got to realize my dream and not just watch the parade but to be in the parade. How about you? What have you wanted to do and have sat on the side lines to watch but wish you could have done? It does not have to be a parade…that was my wish. In your case, it could be to step on the ice and to learn to skate, to learn a new language so you could travel to a far away land and converse with someone or any number of challenges. The key here is that you can learn any of these things but only with the key ingredient of commitment. You need commitment because that is what will drive you to accomplish what you set out to do. It goes back to the theme…are you a dreamer or a doer? After reading this, make a commitment to do something and then stick to this one thing till it is done. It has helped me to accomplish the many things in my life. Understand that I was never the best drummer in the band…I was ok with this because I wanted to make a valuable contribution to the band and that was to always be present and enjoy the experience. You don’t have to always be the best but strive to be the best and remain true. Vision it, commit to it and then do it…and don’t forget to have fun along the way!

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