One of my favorite musical instruments is the bagpipe. Many years ago, on a beautiful bright sunny day, my family and I heard a beautiful version of Amazing Grace performed by a piper on the shoreline as our family sailed from Halifax, Nova Scotia. We continued to listen to Amazing Grace as she moved more than 3 miles offshore.
It was announced in newspapers around the world on 22 August 2016 that a 61-year-old bagpiper had died of “hypersensitivity pneumonitis-bagpipe lung”. He was caused by bacteria from the “moist environment” on his bagpipes that turned into mold and mildew. For the previous seven years he suffered “difficulty breathing, dry cough” and “could only walk about 65 feet.”
Disinfecting every part of his bagpipes every day would have prevented his death. It’s all about discipline!
This is a clarion call to all musicians, bagpipers, woodwind and brass players to give your instrument a thorough cleaning every day. ” Cleanliness is next to godliness.”
It’s all related to discipline. The discipline of preparation. Two friends of mine are firefighters. They have their fire equipment ready, so within minutes they are ready for a fire. They practice for team fires with their air pack to be ready in 90 seconds. Once you develop discipline, it becomes part of you, a good positive habit.
The true disciple gives you the freedom to do your best and be your best self, allowing you to achieve success. For example: cleaning up after yourself and keeping your workplace organized.
My husband and I went to a local restaurant for a quick lunch. The waitress, who we had never seen before, brought our food and took an extra 5 minutes to get the ketchup out after our burgers were served. When she finally brought her the tomato sauce, the burger was cold. Soon after, we were in a hurry to get back to work. The restaurant was almost empty, and we had to find the waitress to give us our bill. This waitress won’t last long! She doesn’t have the discipline for the job!
In our lives, we need to be disciplined in both our mind and body to keep ourselves free from mental clutter and/or physical clutter.
Just like you brush your teeth twice a day to reduce bacteria feeding on your body and we bathe every day. This is about our daily discipline.
When I was 8 years old, I remember my violin teacher, Mr. William Whitson, teaching me to wash my hands with soap and water before playing the violin. After practicing, Mr. Whitson taught me how to wipe my violin with a clean cotton cloth to remove rosin from all surfaces of the violin, including the strings, fingerboard, and bridge. Rosin is pine sap from a tree that in its clean state is rubbed on the hair of the violin bow to hold the strings together by making them speak. Mr. Whitson also had me clean the rosin off the wooden part of my bow. He wanted to protect the instrument from the damage of sticky rosin. He taught each of his students the discipline of caring for his instruments. It’s about discipline.
Many years ago, when I was a student in New York City, I lent my violin to a friend when she was having her instrument repaired. When she brought me my violin after a week, it was covered in sticky rosin all over it! It took me several hours to clean my violin. My former friend had not been taught the discipline of caring for her violin. I should have brought my violin to clean myself when I gave it to him!
For over 30 years, I have taught my string students the discipline of cleaning their instruments.
Part of discipline is teaching our children to wash and dry their hands after going to the bathroom. Harvard Medical School says: “In studies, washing hands with soap and water for 30 seconds reduced bacteria counts by nearly 99.9%.” They also say, “It takes about 20 seconds to get your hands dry using paper or cloth towels. It’s all a matter of training and discipline!”
What new discipline are you going to start today?
Accept the one day challenge!
Here are five suggestions: Try one of them!
1) You have a large stack of papers on your desk. Put papers in order, file informational documents in the correct folders, and pay bills according to the due dates listed on them.
2) Immediately after cooking dinner, put pots and pans in the sink to soak with warm, soapy water. In this way, you can quickly and easily clean up after eating.
3) Eat one scoop of ice cream instead of two.
4) Quit smoking cigarettes for a day.
5) As you run out of certain foods in your refrigerator, write down each needed food item on a pad of paper. Then take your list to the supermarket.
Remember, discipline is meeting a goal you have and not finding excuses for not finishing the task. Don’t procrastinate. To be disciplined you have to take the first step. Don’t just talk about it. Has to. Take your first step. Then take your second step and continue until you complete what you started.
It’s all about discipline!