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The water heater switch malfunctioned, and we needed an electrician to fix it. We found one and I took a morning off to wait for him. He turned out to be a most interesting individual I shared a good conversation with, while he switched out the damaged switch for the new one.

Let’s call him Peter for the story. Peter asked me a strange question when he saw me, if my wife played the guitar and taught singing. That was a really strange question. There was a guitar in the living room, yes.

Anyhow, I told Peter that no, my wife did not teach singing, but she wanted very much to learn how to play an instrument, and the guitar seems like a reasonable start.

Then Peter told me that he plays the Chinese string instrument Er-Hu (??) as well as Cello! I used to play the violin when I was young, and so I know how challenging the string instruments can be. We chatted quite a bit about Peter’s musical interests, and I realized, despite his busy work running about different places fixing clients’ electrical needs, he managed to learn the Er-Hu and Cello pretty much by himself, despite having no formal musical training and not knowing how to read music scores. And what I was very respectful was that Peter was able to use many classical Chinese lingo, something the modern generation has no clue about. This is a truly learned man who learned many things by himself!

In life, one can simply work to survive, or work with joy, and live with joy. Peter has shown that despite busy work, he will make an effort to learn to play not just one, but two musical instruments! In anything that we do, do we find time to improve our work, and to learn things we have an interest in? Time is short and waits for no one, any minute lost will never be recovered again. And, life, is what we make out of it.

PS – Here’s an instrumental featuring the Er-Hu and the Chinese bamboo flute.
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