Commentary: She will participate because she is part of a community

The Mahomet-Seymour band program will prepare for and perform a 24-hour musical on January 6.

While I’m still learning the details, students will arrive at Mahomet-Seymour High School at 6 p.m.on January 5, work all night and day preparing their performance, music, and scenery, then present their work to a live audience on January 6.

To me, and maybe many other teenage students, this sounds like a blast!

But, my freshman has been apprehensive.

I would say that she is a decent trombone player. She definitely enjoys the band and performing music, but being part of a play isn’t on her list of must-dos while she is in high school. She doesn’t act, she’s quiet and reserved and she has very limited visually artistic talent.

And while she is a decent trombone player, there are also upperclassmen who are better than she. Being part of the pit is really the only thing she wants to do in this play, but because she knows she’s unlikely to get a spot in the pit, she wanted to skip being part of this event.

She told me that the band already has enough people to participate, and she isn’t needed.

This may very well be true. But, there is also something bigger that my daughter needs to learn here.

I told her that even if there are enough people to carry the load, she is still part of a community. And part of being a member of a community that will benefit from work is that you, too, participate in the work.

She is part of the band. And in one way or another, she will benefit from the funds raised during the 24-hour musical. So, I told her that she will participate. She turned in her form to try-out for pit last week.

Maybe I haven’t been the best when it comes to helping my kids see how they are part of a community in the past. I see that now.

And I also see that as a society, we have become complacent in letting others do the work for our personal benefit or the benefit of others. The PTO is run with a few volunteers, the Foundation has limited volunteers, MAYC, the library, the Mahomet Town and Country Women’s Club, churches and many other organizations in Mahomet or throughout the United States.

This doesn’t mean that we need to participate in every organization or opportunity. There is giving your time, then there is running yourself ragged.

But I hope that she learns that when she is involved in an activity or when she is passionate about something (music in this case), it is important to participate and give back. It is important to be a part of our community rather than just sitting and reaping the benefits of the community.

If we’re all just sitting back waiting or believing that someone else will do the work for us, we will soon run out of people who are taking care of each other.

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I may do it all, but I have not done it all.

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