I was in Maui. I had spoken three times during the week to a very large audience of international corporation presidents and their families. It was a lively group. In one of my talks, I had mentioned years before playing in bands. I can't remember how that came up, but somehow I used the reference to make a point, to illustrate some idea I was presenting. But I quickly forgot about even having made the reference, until the end of the week, when on the last night, a great band was playing on a big stage outdoors near the beach and under the star filled Hawaiian sky.
The organizer of the group, a company president from South Africa, I think, saw me somewhere toward the back of the crowd and yelled out, "Hey, Mate! You've GOT to play with the band!" I laughed and told him it had been too many years since I had done anything like that, and I wouldn't be any good anymore. But he continued to insist and took my arm and guided me toward the side of the stage. I could have gotten out of it, I'm sure, but from the look on his face, it just meant too much to him. So I put aside my rational doubts and any semblance of a reasonable concern to retain an intact professional image, and climbed the stairs, and at the top, someone handed me a guitar, and before I even realized what was happening, I was with the band, in the center of the stage, taking a lead break in whatever song they were doing. And everybody just went nuts. Some even rushed the stage, as you can see from the old photo above. When I finished the song and got down off the stage, the instigating global business leader gave me an enthusiastic high-five and shouted to me, "Now I believe everything you've said this week!"
My work as a philosopher was confirmed. Who knew? And I had a memory. And, yeah, it was fun. I'm glad I did it. You know what they say about risk and reward. Sometimes, you have to just lay aside your excuses and get up on the stage and play. Whatever that metaphorically means for you in your life and work, you just have to do it. You'll be glad. And maybe someone will see you do it, and appreciate you, or your normal work, in a new way.