Extend Without Expectation

December 5, 2011

Last night I had an experience I found severely shocking.  I was wrapping up Joy Fest (A music festival dedicated to showcasing Vancouver’s amazing singer/songwriters) at Cuppa Joy on 4th and Alma, and it came time in my set to let people know that I had a cd for sale.

It is a mixture of songs I recorded over the summer in a very simplistic manner…..Basically guitar, vocals, performed live….That’s it.  I am doing an album release later this winter, and mainly wanted to put some songs out to get a feel for what people are gravitating to.

Anyhow, I announced that it was more important to me for everyone to have a copy of my music to listen to, and payment could be in the form of what they thought it was worth, or what they had.  If someone didn’t have any money, I made the suggestion “Do something nice for someone else,” as worthy payment.

I was told when some people were approached with this notion, they didn’t know what to make of it, and were quite confused by my statement.  “What do you mean do something nice for someone?”

I am saddened by the fact that this can be seen as such a foreign concept, and is an unfortunate commentary on the status of human interaction.

When I was in Paris, I jammed with a guy playing a lute that didn’t speak english, and I didn’t speak French.  Didn’t stop us from having a great encounter.  At one point, I broke a string, had no spare, and needed one for an event I was going to be involved with the next day.  This man reached into his bag, pulled out a broken lute string, tied my broken end to his, and rigged a system that allowed me to play in one of the most moving musical experiences I have had to date.

He did it simply to help me out, knowing that he would probably never see me again, and didn’t want a thing from me.  We couldn’t even talk to each other!  He extended himself by using his resources and creativity to help me without any expectation of anything in return.

The world becomes a better place when we think this way.  With the oncoming Christmas season, instead of worrying about the pressures of buying gifts for others out of feelings of obligation, do something nice for someone else that costs nothing but thought.  Don’t tell anyone else what you did…it’s not about that.  Extend Without Expectation!

Mr. Bard