I finally finished the last chapter. I slammed the book shut and took one last look at the cover of the hard copy displaying the image of a blind man. Andrea Bocelli. His autobiography titled: The silence of music – haunted me for days!

I can still remember listening to his albums as a young child. My grandpa loved classical music. It was in my grandparents’ home that I was introduced to this Italian opera tenor. Andrea was a man without sight, but he never lost his vision. By the age of twelve he was completely blind. Today, he is one of the biggest-selling solo classical artists the world has ever known.

As I lay these words out across my screen like a sheet of music trying to fit them together harmoniously and come to terms with my own thoughts, my mind is still trying to make sense of his life story. The absolute struggles and anguish this musician faced, but also his victories. I often wonder what makes ordinary people great. I have come up with the following so far: If you don’t have sight, you can still have an idea of where you want to go, but if you don’t have a vision for your future, you will be like a ship without an anchor; Getting pulled into whatever direction the tide may take you. Rarely achieving life-long goals or even completing projects because you will always be ‘going with the flow.’

Today, as I was walking across the shoreline picking up shells. I found myself once more thinking about Andrea’s childhood. His resilience to not give up on his passion for opera, when others told him his music was not original or that his voice was not good enough. In all the chaos, he made a decision to disappear into the ‘silence of music’ and instead, his vision drew more colour and life as opposed to those who once judged him – faded into the distance.

Andrea was once heard saying, “things happen because there is a grand design.” Deep down in my heart, I have to believe this is true. Sometimes, when the noise around me gets too loud, I get distracted from what is important and need to get re-directed to the origin of the journey and purpose. I need to get reminded of where I am going. Sometimes we need to dig a little bit deeper, work harder, knock on doors that seem closed. We need to learn to ask for help, but most importantly – I think we need to learn to believe in ourselves. Shut out the negativity and truly welcome the silence of music. Like any other individual my road has not been easy and at times I have often thought to myself that it will be far easier to give up than to try again. But what would the point be if we were right at the finish line?

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