I Did It My Way
An Important Mentor

For a couple of months, I have written about music and how that affected various well-known people along with me. Many of the people about whom I have written were not musical in the sense they played instruments or even sang well. I am the epitome of a person who doesn’t have any musical ability. That being said, I benefit greatly from all sorts of music. Leo Tolstoy said precisely what I feel, “Music is the shorthand of emotion. Emotions, which let themselves be described in words with such difficulty, are directly conveyed to man in music, and in that is its power and significance.” 

Let me tell you a story about a great musical artist who benefited from music. In the late 50s, an Italian couple who lived in La Sterza, Italy had a baby. However, their family’s doctor had concerns regarding some possible birth defects. When the baby was born, he did have congenital glaucoma.

As a toddler....

During his preschool years, he loved to listen to music. It calmed him as a young child. By the age of six, he began taking piano lessons. However, he quickly moved to singing and was able actually to imitate various Italian singers by the age of seven. However, when he was twelve, he lost his complete eyesight during a soccer game due to being hit in the eye.

One would have thought that this person, even as a child, would have given up. However, instead, he continued to sing locally. More importantly, he is still singing and has entertained the entire world. Andrea Angel Bocelli is the name of that child who was born in La Sterza, Italy.

Andrea Bocelli

He faced adversity as a young boy by listening to music. During his long career, he has sold over eighty million albums. In addition to his musical accomplishments, Bocelli is a role model for each of us. If a person loses his eyesight at twelve years of age and is able to become successful, we can all learn an important lesson for our lives.

The song that seems to encapsulate his life is a song that Frank Sinatra wrote, My Way.

My Way

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I'll say it clear
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain
I've lived a life that's full
I've traveled each and every highway
But more, much more than this
I did it my way
Regrets, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way
Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way
I've loved, I've laughed and cried
I've had my fill my share of losing
And now, as tears subside
I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say - not in a shy way
Oh no, oh no, not me
I did it my way
For what is a man, what has he got
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way
Yes, it was my way

To be honest with you, I’m in my twilight years. I have danced with death twice already and know that my clock is ticking. Looking back upon my journey through life, I have been fortunate to have traveled a great deal in America but especially in the rest of the world. In fact, in less than six months, I will be back in Myanmar to see my family again.

During those many decades of my life, I have made my share of mistakes and missteps. I have owned them and moved on as I charted my life and my reason for my being. I have done it my way in spite of setbacks. Bocelli reflecting upon a life full of problems said, “Destiny has a lot to do with it, but so do you. You have to persevere; you have to insist.” Therein lies a lesson for all of us.