Make The Best Of Things

Throughout our lives, we are presented with opportunities. How we view these situations and what we do with them is our choice. At times, we may feel an opportunity is more of an obstacle.

In the story below, famous violinist Itzhak Perlman reaches into himself to create beautiful music with what is available to him at that very moment. His situation illustrates how we all have the chance to create and contribute even when circumstances are not the best.


World renown violinist Itzhak Perlman was stricken with polio at the age of four. He eventually recovered and learned to walk with crutches. Today, he uses crutches, leg braces or an electric scooter for mobility and plays the violin while seated. 

One evening years ago, Perlman was in New York City to perform to a large audience. Wearing his braces, Perlman crossed the stage slowly, picked up his violin and bow, and signaled to the conductor to begin.

No sooner had he finished the first few bars then one of the strings on his violin snapped, echoing loudly through the theatre like a gunshot.

Perlman was at the beginning of the piece and could have paused the performance while he replaced the string. But instead he signaled the conductor to pick up where they had left off.

Perlman had only three strings on which to play his soloist part. He was able to find some of the missing notes on adjoining strings, but where that wasn’t possible, he had to spontaneously reorganize the music.

He played with passion and artistry, instinctively rearranging the symphony right through to the end. When he finally rested his bow, the audience sat for a moment in stunned silence then rose to their feet and gave a standing ovation. They had been witness to an extraordinary display of human skill and ingenuity.

Perlman raised his bow to signal for quiet. “You know,” he said, “sometimes it is the artist’s task to find out how much beautiful music you can still make with what you have left.”

We have to wonder, was he speaking of his violin strings or his body? Either way, his message is clear:

Happiness is wanting what you have. (See products below.)

Comment & Share:

What are your stories of making the best of circumstances?

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Happiness Painting: $24.95

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