I've been thinking of Pablo Casals lately. A few years ago, my wife and I visited old San Juan and were drawn to the Pablo Casals Museum. We were met at the door by the very touching news that Mr. Casals did not want any professional musician to pay for admission. How typical of this great spirit.
For years, a quote from his book Joys and Sorrows hung on my studio wall.It seems to still apply to our world today. I'd like to share it here:
"Sometimes I look about me with a feeling of complete dismay. In the confusion that afflicts the world today, I see a disrespect for the very values of life. Beauty is all about us, but how many are blind to it! They look at the wonder of this earth-and seem to see nothing. People move hectically but give little thought to where they are going. They seek excitement for its mere sake, as if they were lost and desperate. They take little pleasure in the natural and quiet and simple things of life.
Each second we live in a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that never was before and will never be again. And what do we teach our children in school? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all of the world there is no other child exactly like you. In the millions of years that have passed there has never been another child like you. And look at your body-what a wonder it is! your legs, your arm, your cunning fingers, the way you move! You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work-we all must work-to make this world worthy of its children.
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