During my time in the Marine Corps, I saw a few places in the world that were not free. Places where people could not choose to marry or to love who (or how) they wished; places where business could not be conducted freely because you would have to pay the local gang for the ‘right’ to do business. Places where political expression and speech are suppressed. Where violence is the norm. Where women’s faces are tattooed, like the scarlet letter, and thrown into the streets to starve because they engaged with a man before marriage. Where the government (or the local warlord) dictated the work you would do, and for how much you would get in return. Where sanitation doesn’t exist. And slavery is real. And choice is a myth.
And so today we celebrate American Independence. The day when we declared ourselves a free society…although it did take years to make these freedoms a reality through the revolution. And longer still for certain people who were not initially granted their justly due freedoms to be given equal rights.
But we have come a long way. And today, we get to choose who we love and marry, how we work, where we live. We get to choose what to say, and how to say it. I understand that not everyone is on equal footing here – but for the most part we all enjoy freedoms and privileges that much of the world is in desperate want for. There is still more to do, but for what we already have, I am thankful.
So in the spirit of freedom – today I choose to work, because I love what I do here at Sage Music. I’ll take an easy day though, and spend some time in the park with my dog Bijou, who you will see more of when we move. I’ll go to the gym, and I’ll practice guitar. Maybe I’ll compose. I’ll also spend some time reflecting on the good things our freedom has brought us. Then I’ll make guacamole and pico de gallo, call some of my friends and family and military buddies, and then retire early so I can get a head start tomorrow.
I hope that you choose to do whatever makes you happy and fulfilled today. And please know that I am greatly pleased that you my faculty and staff have chosen to work with me…and you my students have chosen to study with us and be a part of our growing community.
I am grateful for you all.
For my part, I promise to keep building our community and improving our school so that you have ever more reasons to continue to choose to be a part of the Sage Music family. Because this is how freedom works best.
I hope that your day is full of music, family, friends, and fun; or whatever you wish. And that you exercise your freedom to be exactly you, to do the things you desire, and to make the music that you want to make. And to choose to do what fulfills you most.
Founder, Sage Music