Itzhak Perlman is one of the finest violinists alive today. Several years ago, Perlman agreed to attend a charity reception after one of his concerts in Vienna. Tickets for the champagne reception were sold for the equivalent of five hundred American dollars per guest.
At the reception, while the guests mingled, Itzhak Perlman stood in a roped-off area flanked by security guards. One by one the guests were led into the roped-off area and introduced to Perlman. As one man entered the roped-off area, he stretched out his hand, shook hands with the violinist, and said, “Mr. Perlman, you were phenomenal tonight. Absolutely amazing.” Perlman smiled and thanked the man graciously for the compliment. The man continued, “All my life I have had a great love of the violin, and I have heard every great living violinist, but I have never heard anyone play the violin as brilliantly as you did tonight.” Perlman smiled again but said nothing, and the man continued, “You know, Mr. Perlman, I would give my whole life to be able to play the violin like you did tonight.”
Perlman smiled once more and said, “I have.”
That is the difference. While some of us are sitting around letting the sand in the hourglass of life empty, thinking, I would give my whole life to be able to do that, or, I hope that happens to me one day, people like Itzhak Perlman are doing it. They are giving their whole lives to the magnificent and meaningful pursuit of their dreams.
I have noticed that all men and women have dreams. I have noticed that some people achieve their dreams, and for others they seem always out of reach. Why is this? Does God have favorites? I don’t think so. The reason is that some people dream and wait for their dreams to come true. Theirs is a vain type of dreaming. They look at others, whom they consider fortunate or lucky, and they think, I hope that happens to me one day! Other people listen to the movements of their hearts and dream their dreams by listening to the gentle voice within. They commit themselves to excellence, and armed with their dreams as a blueprint for their lives, they go out onto the stage of life chasing their rainbow, living life passionately. Aided by a mysterious and miraculous power that I can de- scribe only as the grace of God, they make their dreams come true.
Life is too short to be lived halfheartedly and far too short to lose yourself in the day-to-day drudgery and the hustle and bustle. Dedicate yourself to the things that are worthy of your dedication.
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