As I watched the segment on Wynton Marsalis, the master trumpeter, jazz innovator, and educator, part of the documentary series “Iconoclasts,” I was struck by a moment Marsalis recollected. As Wynton was leaving home to go off to college, packing just some tapes and a few possessions, his dad turned to him and asked “Are you okay now?” He meant with not a lot of material things. “Yes dad I’m okay,” he replied.
His dad said “Remember that, so when you have a lot you won’t be scared if you lose it because even if you do you will always be okay like you are now.”
Imagine if we could all be blessed with this sense of security and self-assured attitude! I love this story because his father is teaching him so many things all at once: to be grateful even when we don’t have much, to live in gratitude, don’t scare yourself, and trust the process because change is part and parcel of the creative process. We may have a lot or not a lot, but it’s the awareness that we are okay that means we can make our own music and march to our own beat.