One Love

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As he approaches me, he cheerfully greets me saying “Hey, how are you?”, and warmly shakes my hand. A bit unsure of my new surroundings, I give a shy response with a timid handshake. He asks, “Would you come this way please?” I slowly stand up and he leads me out of the waiting room and we start walking through a maze of hallways. There are classrooms on both sides of me. Finally, we reach his room and step inside. I look around and see a drum set, a marimba, and two drum thrones that are facing each other. The room seems small, and I wonder how all of this equipment is able to fit inside such a tiny room. On the walls, I see posters with pictures of famous musicians, most of whom have gone before us. Because of my uneasiness about this unfamiliar place, I was a bit doubtful about taking drum lessons here. Little did I know that this classroom in Meridian Music Studios in Carmel, Indiana, would serve as a place that holds some of my life’s greatest experiences. It is a place where I learned much more than just the art of music.

To me, a hero is someone that a person looks up to and has a lot of respect for. It is someone that has made a profound impact on another’s life, and does so much without expecting repayment. Walking down the street, one might think that Wade Parish is just another “average joe”. He doesn’t have a superman cape or a jet pack. Standing at six feet tall, with broad shoulders, any other person would think he’s another ordinary guy going to work. Dressed in dark blue jeans and a sweater or jacket, he looks like another ordinary person. However, his long dark hair as well as his artsy yet contemporary style of clothing accurately expresses his independent outlooks on life. Wade forms his own views on life and refuses to conform to others’ beliefs. He carries on this independency in his music as well. “The silent space that we instill in music is sometimes more powerful than the music itself” He would often tell me this to relay the message that music is not about how fast you can play. Instead, it is about the emotions that musicians express to the audience. The musical creativity that Wade expresses is just as admirable as his overall non-conforming attitude toward today’s society. One of Wade’s favorite quotes is “Carpe Diem”. I see him live by this quote each and every day. He knows that every day is his, and sees that each day is an opportunity to do something worthwhile. He knows that the days that he has are limited, so he chooses to live each one to the fullest. In our interview, he explains to me that many people are driven by materialistic things such as money, cars, and success. The most important thing in one’s life is doing what you love. “Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life”.

Another admirable trait that Wade possesses is the passion that he has for music. Wade has always told his students, to follow their dreams and do what is most important to them. He too follows this philosophy. Wade first moved out of his parents’ house when he was 18 and had taken ordinary jobs such as a waiter and a landscaper. However, he soon came to be unhappy with these jobs because they interfered with the schedule that he had with his band. If his employers refused to give him time off to play at shows, he would easily quit the position he held. Wade started to play the drums when he was 14. Even though he was a poor academic student, he worked hard in the field of music. For someone to love a hobby so much that they would quit their job just to pursue it is a truly courageous action. He would also reduce the amount of time that he spent with other hobbies, such as motorcycle racing, so he would be able to play more music. Wade would look hypocritical if he told his students to follow their dreams when he himself did not do that. This is what makes him most respectable. Not only did he take a risk financially, but he followed his dream which makes him one of the most successful people I know.
The final trait that I really admire in Wade is the sense of love that he shows everyone. When teaching, he never gives up on his students. Even if they themselves give up, he still sees the talent that they have and tries to get them to see it too. One time, while I was in a lesson, I was being a little too hard on myself. I had had a rough day and I was expecting to be perfect. The more I played, the more I became upset. Finally, Wade told me to stop and we would play something else. So, he went over to his stereo and turned on “One Love” by Bob Marley. That’s when he told me to drum to that song. I drummed to that song for 20 minutes and afterward I felt very relaxed. That’s when he explained that I am not a bad drummer. I was actually his only student that could do that. I had a lot more confidence after that because what he said about my great skills meant a lot. “I believe that everyone wants to be loved, but they show this desire in warped ways.” When he told me this, it really showed me that there is no such thing as purely evil people. We all need each other when we are hurt, and some people just don’t know how to ask for support.

Whether we choose to see it or not, there will always be at least one person that unexpectedly walks into our lives and makes a profound impact that we are most certainly not expecting. For me, that person was Wade. I can only hope that everyone will come to see the values that others unconsciously instill in us, and hopefully cherish them. Above all else, Wade taught me to follow my dreams and do exactly what I love. After I met Wade, I realized life is wasted when one does not do what they love. “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”.





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