The women's majlis: Don’t play second fiddle

Experiencing misfortune is something we need to feel once in a while. I believe that dealing with setbacks or challenges in our lives help us to grow and shape us.

Experiencing misfortune is something we need to feel once in a while. I say this because I believe that dealing with setbacks or challenges in our lives help us to grow and shape us. Admit it, at least once in your life you have experienced a manager, teacher or professor assigning a colleague or fellow student something over you. Usually this action either pushes you to work harder, and you say: "I can do it better"; or it disheartens you, and you say: "I can't do it".

This term, I decided to move out of my comfort zone, and try something new, so I registered for a music class – “music appreciation”. At first, I was scared, but once I saw my professor, I felt better, because professors who show their students their passion for their subject will always help their students to feel better. That’s exactly what my professor was able to do, by not only being a good professor but a passionate one who turned out to be a great motivator.

During the fourth session, he was talking about orchestral instruments, more precisely the strings family, which includes the cello, violin, harp and, the most important instrument to me, the viola. The professor said that some musicians believe that those who can’t learn the violin go on to play the viola because it’s easier, but he refuted this by saying it was a misunderstanding.

He elaborated, saying that some people think engineering students are better than science students, and science students are better than business and finance students – the list of comparisons goes on. However, the truth, he said, is that no one is better than anyone, and nothing is easier than the other. So violinists and viola players are equally important within the orchestral family.

I guess what I’m saying is that assigning greatness and success to a specific field is a myth. We all know different examples of success and failures, and we all know that it had nothing to do with a degree or a workplace. It all depends on you and the person you aspire to be. So the next time you feel misplaced or displaced, remind yourself that you are whatever you want to be: a hard worker, special, an achiever, or whatever it is you are. For me, I am a viola.

Let the strength of “I am” and the power of a viola carve your path to success, and lead you to where you want to be. Don’t give the circumstances or the people a chance to stop you from reaching your destination just because your vision doesn’t match theirs.

I’m truly grateful to my professor, because I may not be the best violin player, but thanks to him, I surely know how to be a great viola.

Maitha Alhosani is an aspiring writer studying at the American University of Sharjah.

If you have a good story to tell or an interesting issue to debate, contact Melinda Healy on mhealy@thenational.ae.

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