(Definition: To make up for)
Imagine that you are a world-class concert pianist at the peak of your career, someone
who has spent years studying and practicing to develop your art. Your fingers respond
instantly to your mental commands, flitting along the keyboard with grace and speed. Then
one day you feel a stiffness that wasn't there before. You go to a doctor, tests are done,
and the diagnosis comes back: Arthritis. Your fingers are destined to become wooden and
crippled. From the heights of success and acclaim you will plunge to oblivion. It happened
to Byron Janis. Within a short time this concert pianist saw arthritis quickly spread to
all his fingers, and the joints of nine of them fused. Some people would have never
recovered from such a blow, but Janis decided to fight back. He kept his ailment a secret
from all but his wife and two close friends. He worked long hours to change his technique.
He learned how to use what strengths he had instead of concentrating on his weaknesses. He
also used a regimen of medications, acupuncture, ultrasound, and even hypnosis to deal
with the pain. His wife learned how to give him therapeutic massages to loosen his stiff
joints. Through hard work and sheer determination, Janis was able to continue his career.
He maintained a full concert schedule for 12 years without anyone suspecting. Finally, he
told the world at a White House concert in 1985. These days, he is active in fund-raising
for the Arthritis Foundation and still plays the piano. He credits faith, and hope, and
will for his success and says, "I have arthritis, but it doesn't have me."
Bits & Pieces, August, 1989.
Antonio was an Italian boy who loved music, but whenever he tried to sing the music
that was in his heart, it came out so badly that all his friends laughed at him. Next to
singing, the boy loved to hear the violin. He had a pocketknife he always carried with him
and he would whittle all sorts of things with it. One day Antonio learned that the
greatest violin maker in all Italy, the great Nicolo Amati, lived in his village! Antonio
began to whittle a violin and worked for many hours on it. When finished, the boy walked
to the house of Amati, who just happened to answer the door. The boy handed the master the
small violin he had carved and said, "Sir--I love music, but cannot sing. I wish with
all my heart I could learn to make violins." The great Amati smiled, looked at the
small gift and said, "Beautifully done! You want to make violins? And so you shall!
In time your violins will make the most beautiful music ever heard!" And so, Antonio
Stradivari became the pupil of Nicolo Amati and in time made violins that equaled his
Bits & Pieces, January, 1990, p. 11.