It didn’t take me long to figure out that I couldn’t be great at everything that I tried to do.
One of the first memories of realizing this truth was during my seventh grade talent show. This was a big event at my school. I was part of a little band with some of my classmates. We were performing a popular song by The Beach Boys, who were known for their harmony. Of all times for the physical changes of puberty to attack my body and make my voice to change… it was during that concert! My “ou-we-ou” singing part sounded more like a hound dog barking off key! I distinctly remember one of my teachers, whom I had never seen smile before…laugh hysterically.
You may have been wondering if I ever sang in public again? Unfortunately, I did years later while visiting Aunt Mae, one of my church members. I went to see her at at an assisted living center where she was rehabing after a difficult surgery. I had intentions of cheering her up because I knew that she was discouraged. We sat and talked in the meeting room there for quite a while. I noticed that people were coming into the room. In a few minutes, I heard the chaplain say: “It’s good to have Jerry Bear with us today as we begin our chapel service, I’m going to ask him sing Amazing Grace for us!
I nervously went up to the front and I whispered to the chaplain that I could not sing. His response was “ Go ahead, most of them can’t hear well, they will not notice.” As I started singing the first verse, a local dog owner’s group were bringing in dogs to visit and cheer up the patients. When the dogs heard me singing, they went crazy by barking and jumping all over the place! Their handlers pulled them back out the door. I kept singing and they tried to reenter the building with the same reaction and they went back out the door. After I finished my solo, the handlers brought the dogs back in the building and this time there was no barking or adverse response from the canine group. When I went back and sat down by Aunt Mae, she was laughing and smiling.
I still can’t sing but at least I was able to cheer Aunt Mae up that day. I have also learned and accepted the fact that there are some things in life you and I are just not good at…and that’s okay. You don’t have to be great in everything you attempt in order to have a happy day or help other people to have a better day… and I am thankful for that.