My New Book Living More Than OK

My New Book Living More Than OK
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Monday, December 19, 2016

Lessons from Enjoying Andrea Bocelli in Concert

Over a week ago we as a family enjoyed a concert experience of Andrea Bocelli in Austin, Texas. We had been anticipating the concert for months as we bought the tickets in Summer. We had viewed dvd’s of his concerts in the past yet in my mind’s eye nothing beats the live concert experience. That evening he was with a full orchestra and chorale, along with guest artists. My favorite of his guests was soprano Ana Maria Martinez. That to me is an amazing point about him. It is not all about him as he showcases other talents to help others in their careers.

He performed songs from his latest CD, “Cinema” as well as popular love songs and spiritual songs. With this being the Christmas season he also did O Come All Ye Faithful in Italian. My wife liked how he showed video of he and his wife during one of the love songs. To promote his Andrea Bocelli Foundation's 'Voices Of Haiti' Choir, he had backup on one song by a local Austin children’s choir. I have listed here the lyrics to one of my favorite songs of his. Take time to listen to the Youtube video embedded in the title by hyperlink:

The Prayer (Click on title to hear duet of Andrea Bocelli and Katherine McPhee)

I pray you'll be our eyes,
and watch us where we go
And help us to be wise,
in times when we don't know
Let this be our prayer,
when we lose our way
Lead us to a place,
guide us with your grace
To a place where we'll be safe.
La luce che tu hai
I pray we'll find your light
Nel cuore resterà
And hold it in our hearts
A ricordarci che
When stars go out each night
L'eterna stella sei
Nella mia preghiera
Let this be our prayer
Quanta fede c'è
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace

Give us faith so we'll be safe
Sogniamo un mondo senza più violenza
Un mondo di giustizia e di speranza
Ognuno dia la mano al suo vicino
Simbolo di pace, di fraternità

La forza che ci dà
We ask that life be kind
È il desiderio che
And watch us from above
Ognuno trovi amor
We hope each soul will find
Intorno e dentro a sé
Another soul to love
Let this be our prayer
Let this be our prayer
Just like every child
Just like every child

Need to find a place,
guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe
È la fede che
Hai acceso in noi
Sento che ci salverà.

The lessons I learned from the night first of all was while I was listening to the song above, The Prayer. With his blindness he could be bitter, but his singing this song, one understands he has deep spiritual roots. That very first line “I pray you'll be our eyes” must have special meaning to someone who is blind. He is seeking God to guide with his grace and protection throughout each day, in a way that those of us with sight do not fully understand.

After the concert I looked up his biography at He was born September 22, 1958 in Lajatico, Tuscany, Italy. His parents encouraged music early in his life with various instruments. He also enjoyed sports especially soccer. He was not born blind but had visual impairment at birth. He actually lost his sight at age 12 playing soccer. I can’t imagine a young boy at that age losing his sight. Thankfully he had a supportive family who encouraged education. He kept his passion for music but his parents wanted him to be a lawyer and he did become one. At the same time he never gave up on music. Happenstance happened in his life with a chance event in 1992 when he recorded a demo tape of "Miserere" the song co-written by Bono of U2. This was heard by the famous Luciano Pavarotti who then helped Andrea spur his career in music to what it is today.

So Andrea Bocelli was respectful of his parents career advice but at the same time never gave up on his own passion for music. He was also proactive with happenstance in that he did not sit around waiting to be noticed but did demo tapes that just happened to reach a great singer like Pavarotti who understood Bocelli’s talent. You can’t just sit and wish on dreams and goals there is the need for action; in the case of music the hard work of creating demos and sending them out.

From a number of songs like The Prayer, above was also the reminder of the importance of the spiritual in our lives. Bocelli seems to understand that his life journey is guided by a power greater than he. Even though I use the word happenstance, I see it as God guiding the chance events in our lives and the wise person acknowledges this. I believe his God-centeredness is a driving force in his Foundation -- 'Voices Of Haiti'. He is using the musical talents of the children in the choir to help change their present lives and a future out of poverty.

We may not have the talent of an Andrea Bocelli but each of us has talents that can either be wasted by neglect or perfected by passion and drive. At this Christmas time this may be the right time to slow down and reflect on your talent and passion and see how you can grow into the New Year.

Reflection: Who is your favorite musician and what can you learn from their life? Take time and think over what your talent in is your life. Are you using your talent or is it stagnating? How can you improve your talent in the New Year?

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