Editor’s note: We are pleased to welcome a new guest writer, Cail Corishev. We encourage you to visit his website, as he has written other thoughtful essays. He is a true Man of the West.
Once upon a time, there was a boy who wanted to be a singer. Only problem was, he was tone-deaf, couldn’t sing a note. He saw all these people around him who seemed to be able to sing effortlessly from childhood; but if he even tried to join in on “Happy Birthday,” people looked at him funny. When he auditioned for a school musical, he was laughed off the stage. It seemed like the ability to carry a tune was something you were born with or weren’t, and he wasn’t. Over time, he gave up on his dream.
But one day he heard a guy say he had been tone-deaf and learned to sing, and he decided he would give it one more try. He did a lot of research, and discovered other tone-deaf people who had taught themselves to sing. He studied, and found out there were other ways to hit the right notes. He worked hard for years, got lessons, went through a lot of ups and downs and embarrassing bad performances, and one night it all came together when he won a karaoke contest. He was so happy, he decided to write a book to help other people like himself.
When it was published, some people thanked him for it, but most just laughed at him. Why, singing isn’t something you have to learn! You “just do it”; just throw your head back and let it rip. What a loser, to have to learn something so obvious! And anyone who could profit from such a book must be an even bigger loser. No real man would have to go through all that; he’d just apply some willpower and do it right from the start.
Moral of the story: if you want to learn how to do something, ask someone else who had to learn it. Don’t ask people for whom it came naturally. They couldn’t teach you if they wanted to, and most likely they don’t.