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Now that's a drum set! a simple thought about collaboration

I'm the drummer for a local band in the Lynchburg, VA, area. We play an eclectic mix of music, including rock, country, classical, jazz, blues, gospel, and something called flamenco (I've not quite figured out what that is). I'd love to say I'm an accomplished drummer with refined, highly developed chops, but that would be a lie. On the whole, I'm a decidedly average drummer with average chops. But I love playing, and, on some level, I guess that's all that matters.

Until today, I had two Roland electronic drum sets, one I kept at my church (for praise team duties) and the other I maintained at our band's studio location. The studio drum set is by far the nicest of the two...the Roland TD-50 (which will mean something to all the drum enthusiasts out there). The church set is a simple, beginner-type set...the Roland TD-11 (something far less impressive to the same drum enthusiasts). Since COVID-19 began, our band has been practicing at my church (where we can maintain social distancing requirements), while the studio has sat vacant...and my TD-50 has gone unused. For several months, the band leader tried convincing me to trade out the sets so I could use the TD-50. I kept refusing because I didn't want my costliest set exposed to potential "interlopers" at the church. I mean, who wants uninvited people playing his several-thousand-dollar drum set? So, it sat in the studio with nary a hit for months.

However, just this week, I decided to move it. So, yesterday, my band leader and I loaded it up, drove it across town, and I started reassembling it. Suddenly, it occurred to me: Why limit myself to the TD-50? Why not pilfer what I can from the TD-11 set, add it to the TD-50 set, and create...THE TD-50 PLUS 11 drum set!!!! THE ULTIMATE IN PERCUSSION TECHNOLOGY!!!!! OK, maybe I'm being a bit melodramatic, but adding the two together was pretty cool. It increased my set by two cymbals and one tom drum, with the potential for even greater expansion. I'm feeling like Neil Peart right now!

As I stood back and took a photo of my new beauty (see accompanying photo) and considered the greatly enhanced capabilities I now have at my drum tips, something profound occurred to me. What if we human beings were just as quick to combine the best of what we have with the best of what others have? Indeed, what if I were to stop hoarding what little talent, skill, or ability I have, and what if I were to collaborate more with others, seeking to maximize on their talents, skills, and abilities to affect positive change on my church, my community, and the world? What if we were to "put pride aside" and seek the betterment of others over ourselves--to see the whole as more important than any one part? What if the word "team" were more important than the word "me"? How might the world change?

The writer of Ecclesiastes opines, "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor" (Ecclesiastes 4:9, NIV). Sure, we can live life on our own, doing things our way and generally neglecting others in the process. But what good does this do any of us in the end? What reward will any of us see? The real reward--the real victory--comes when we work together and create something bigger than any one of us individually. Had I reassembled the TD-50 and simply disassembled the TD-11, then I would still only be playing the TD-50. But since I decided to combine them, now I have something so much better! Now, I'm truly ready to rock!

Are you ready to rock? Are you ready to look for ways to collaborate with others in order to affect positive change in your church, your community, your nation, and your world? If so, send me a message...send "Put pride aside" to, or simply reply "Put pride aside" on Facebook or on my blog. Together we can change the world, folks!

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Carla Wagner
Carla Wagner
Feb 10, 2021

What a great picture!!! It's amazing how pictures can bring our loved ones right back to us. We miss them so much -- yet when we see pictures like the one you posted -- we feel them right beside us.

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