This evening I was picking my son up from his guitar lessons. I usually get to the music store about five minutes before my son’s lesson ends so I can sit by the door and hear him play. He usually is warmed up and is practicing with the teacher and is at his best. Today, as I was listening, I noticed another customer come in for lessons.
I turned and looked to see who was coming through the door. A tall lanky figure was strolling through the aisle riddled with every type of Fender guitar imaginable. I saw the typical brown UPS uniform and shrugged it off as a delivery being made. As I looked down at the package I figured was being delivered, I noticed the person had a classic guitar case that looked like it was from the 1970s. It matched his brown uniform. The case had all kinds of scratches and dings in it. It had a lot of miles on it! As my eyes raised to see what the UPS driver looked like, I caught the face of an old man who was likely in his late 60s. He looked tired from working all day. He seemed happy to be at the music store for his lesson. He looked at me and smiled big. I returned the smile. My son finished his lesson and came out to meet me. I heard my son’s teacher say hi to the old guy and they sat down together. I paused and listened for a minute to hear the old UPS driver play a few chords. It sounded to me like he was around the same level of learning as my son.
"The old UPS guy didn’t care that most of the people getting lessons were younger than 12."
As I drove home, I thought about this guy in the UPS uniform. I thought about how I teach my students to try new things. I teach my students to get out of their comfort zones and learn. I teach them not to care about what others think about them when they are chasing their dreams. I teach them how to pivot if they need to reframe their passions. I teach them to not fear change. Then it hit me. The old UPS guy didn’t care that most of the people getting lessons were younger than 12. He didn’t care that he was in his UPS uniform while he played. He didn’t care how old he was when he started learning guitar. He was challenging himself to try something new. He knew it is never too late to try. This old UPS driver was doing all the things I teach my students to do. Rock on UPS guy!