I am dismayed that one of the trends in today's society is the tendency to isolate oneself in a bubble. People walk around with their head down, looking at their phone, and not interacting with the environment they are passing through…or others they may meet. Everyone at the gym has on headphones, which cuts interaction by members at least in half, if not more.
It seems self-evident to me that my life benefits if those around me are happy and prospering, and that our society benefits if we help each other out. Somehow many people today feel that we should cut all spending and eliminate social programs to keep more money in our own pockets (and pay less taxes.) Even as I'd love to have more money in my pocket, I know that my life benefits in MANY ways, not just by the size of my bank account. And living in a prosperous world with happy citizens enhances my life experience astronomically. I can worry less about crime and hardship around me as others are successful and contribute to our society and economy.
We all need life experiences that teach us these lessons about our society. I do believe we are truly "All in this together." It is my wish that every young person has experiences in a group setting, as part of some exciting organization, that show them the great benefits of working together for common goals, and helping those who are less talented or less fortunate to be valuable contributing members of the group.
Some students are on sports teams, or in civic groups. Some belong to church groups, where many types of people can gather to accomplish good things. In my life, I was very fortunate to spend many years in all types of performing ensembles. My time in the band showed me that we can all succeed only when we work together. Only by being tolerant and patient and helping those who are struggling can any performing group succeed.
So please support your local music organizations when possible, and encourage young people to be involved. Sure, a high school student can get a job instead and make some money, getting a head start into our mania for capitalism, but how much more might they grow as a person, as a member of our society, if they learn valuable lessons as part of a musical group, working together for the common good.