This book has been 70 years in the making! I just didn’t realize it until this moment, as I now enter these alphabet characters on my computer screen to form the words you are reading. For me, my Earliest Passion was unquestionably Music. From the moment I was given an old trumpet in the fourth grade at Francis Parker #23 School in Rochester, New York, I sensed a change in my young life. A freedom to explore, if you will. A natural ability that seemed to take over my every thought and dream.
That earliest passion flourished throughout my high school years, introducing me to Musical experiences I could never have imagined as an eight-year old. In the many years since, Music has taken me in different directions, all of them positive. No, this book is not meant to be my memoir. But along the way I might make reference to those directions in an indirect way. Sometimes even in a direct way, as you’ll soon realize. You see, about a year ago I embarked on a new Musical project, rooted in events that transpired some 40 years ago: “Our Earliest Passions Shape Our Future.”
It was certainly an ambitious undertaking, requiring new skills and new ways of thinking. Only then did I think about writing this book about that experience, as if my ideas were being formulated without my knowledge. Suddenly, though, I had an epiphany! Surely there must be people around the world encountering similar thoughts as they search for their own answers to new projects in their own lives. It was then that I understood that this book could well be a learning tool for others, younger or older, to benefit from the experiences of their colleagues and mentors.
So I set myself to the task at hand, inviting some of my former and current friends and colleagues to contribute their personal thoughts about their own Earliest Passions shaping their later lives. Musicians. Artists. Entertainers. Writers. Storytellers. Teachers. Students. Activists. Business Owners. Entrepreneurs. As different as our individual stories may be, we are constantly reminded that our Earliest Passions captured us in youth, then changed over time as Life had its way with us, and eventually returned us to where we began. It’s called ‘The Circle of Life.’ I quickly received enthusiastic responses from the people whose stories you will find on the pages to follow. Stories from people of different ages and career paths. Stories from different countries and cultures. Some comedic, at first glance. Others, not so much. But all reflect heartfelt gestures to share their talents, skills, and lifetime experiences with you in the unselfish hope that you will gain valuable insight about what it all means in the ‘Circle of Life.’
The first such chapter is my own, of course, intended to set the stage for the chapters that follow. So read on, if you will. And consider the pathways your own lives may be destined to follow.