Who chooses

(Versión en castellano)

Days ago I found a video, a fragment of a documentary film about the life of Gregor Piatigorsky, a Russian (American naturalized) famous cellist.  In that film he explains in his own words:

“Nobody can really choose music as a profession, like you can choose to become a dentist or whatever, it chooses you.”

Now, does this happen only in the case of music, as Piatigorsky says?

When I was a teenager I had a revealing dream.  It was vivid, like a nightmare.  In the dream it appeared a high school classmate of mine in front of me.  As in several occasions I was aware of being in a dream what led me to speculate that if the whole situation was a product of my mind I should be able to control it.  So, in the middle of my dream, I focused myself in trying to make the guy in front of me say what I wanted.  His expression and attitude changed as when some actor in a movie suddenly abandon the script, he gave me back a sarcastic smile, as letting me know he was aware of my naive attempt.

I suppose those authors of conspiracy theories, about presumed reality or in fiction work, or the concept of god itself, had experiences similar to the one I just told.  Scientifically speaking the only thing we can state is we have control only over the conscious part of our thinking, hence, obviously, we are not able to choose our deep motivations and desires.  Undoubtedly, the most mundane example, suitable for all audiences, is we don't choose who we fall in love with.  We do can choose to what extent we pay attention and follow those deep motivations and desires (for example, the role vocation plays in our profession choice) and the way we attempt to put them in practice, to translate them to the real world.  To accomplish this we need to learn to live with them, to negotiate and find a balance.  Given the risk, sacrifice, work and, in some cases austerity, this whole process implies, it's understandable why there are very few individuals who really commit to that task.  This is also true for artists, specially musicians, let alone professionals, even when seen from the outside may not seem so.

©2020 - Walter Alejandro Iglesias

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