Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Ever since I was a little girl, music has spoken to me. I have always understood it and enjoyed both simple melodies and complex compositions.
So, naturally, when an analogy is made from a musical example I understand the concept better. That is why I've been thinking about the "second violin" lately.
When the orchestra is ready to perform, the first violinist steps out onto the stage to great applause and takes his seat with the rest of the musicians. Unless there is a special soloist nobody else in the orchestra gets that kind of attention. (Well, except maybe the conductor.)
When most people think about dream jobs in the symphony, they think about the first violinist (or whatever instrument). Nobody dreams about being second violin.
Why is that? Probably because in our society, we want that special attention. We want to walk out onto the stage alone to roaring applause. We want to be the best and be known for it.
Now, there's nothing wrong with being the best at whatever it is you do, but may I make the suggestion that second violin is just as important or maybe *gasp* more important?
Let me explain.
The first violin always gets the melody, or main theme. The second violin usually gets the harmony or supporting theme. Alone, the first violin playing the melody is absolutely beautiful. He executes his melody with precision and skill. When joined by the second violin playing the harmony, a whole new sound is born. The way in which the notes work together is beautiful, regardless of the tune. New feelings are born as they play together in harmony.
So, no matter how good the first violin is, he often sounds better when joined by a second violin complementing his melody.
The wonderful thing about this analogy is that it works with almost everything we do.
The foreman looks better when his workers help him get the job done.
The chef can make amazing creations when his sous chef is working just as hard along side him.
The CEO can accomplish more when he has a great secretary.
The pastor is more efficient when the elders are helping him care for the congregation's needs.
The family is happier when husband and wife work together in harmony.
I know there's more to it than that, but I've been thinking about how much better our world would be if we all weren't competing for that one, first violin position. Not everyone needs to be "top dog". Sure, sometimes the second violin is a thankless job. He doesn't get the applause or the bigger pay check, but he's just as important. The orchestra wouldn't be the same with out him.
Sometimes I feel like some people think less of me because I've chosen to live my life differently than most people. I didn't go to college, I don't have a fancy career, and I'm still not sure what I want to be when I "grow up". I like to hope that I'm playing a beautiful second violin to the people around me though. My tune may not be the melody, but it helps the orchestra, as a whole, sound more full.
Just this week I've been thanked several times for little things that I did. I wasn't looking for attention or special applause. I just wanted to help someone else be better at what they were doing. It made me feel loved and appreciated. It meant more to me than I ever thought it would.
I would like to suggest that you think about the second violins around you and remember to appreciate them for the beautiful harmony they add to our lives.