In the great musical, Fiddler On The Roof, Tevia the philosopher explains a summary of total beliefs when he says, “Life is like a fiddler on a roof trying to eke out a simple tune while simultaneously hanging onto the roof to keep from falling.”
When I studied human behaviorist, Alexander Maslow’s, Hierarchy Of Needs, I learned about motivation and why people do things. Maslow explains with a pyramid. At the base of that pyramid are the survival needs, such as food, shelter, clothing and sex.
The cave man and woman were kept pretty busy just filling those basic needs. After all, that was where most of the action was. Eventually the cave man got smart and said to himself “Himself, it would sure be nice if I could get my food, shelter, clothing without getting all scratched up. And the same with sex. Some of those women fight back and get ugly.”
And so man climbed up to that second step on the pyramid of needs and that was the need for safety. Now let me explain before we go any further that whenever one of the needs that is lower on the pyramid is threatened or not filled then the lower need becomes the real, prominent motivation.
Once the safety need is met, we move up to man’s need for acceptance by his peers. He wants to be one of the guys. A woman wants to be accepted too. With acceptance we move up to the need of self-esteem. We want to feel good about ourselves and about what we are doing.
At the top of Maslow’s pyramid comes what he calls self-actualization. I like to think of self-actualization as the point where you have discovered your special talents and you have taken the time and effort to sharpen your talents, to hone your skills and you commit your time to using your blessings for the good of all humankind.
It is singing your song and letting that special music inside you come out.
Then someone said that the greatest tragedy that could come to a man is for him to die with his song unsung, with that music still inside him.
Now what I believe Tevia was saying was that we are all fiddlers on the roof and we are all trying to make beautiful music on our violins, but that life is not easy and we must take care of all of our other needs. So we spend most of our time just hanging onto the roof for survival.
If there is one thing I have learned in my years of striving to make beautiful music in my life it is this: You can’t make music unless you have the courage to take chances and let go of the roof.
I also learned that you fall off the roof now and then and sometimes you get hurt and you’ll feel a lot of pain.
But I’ve also learned that it is worth it,
If you hope to soar, then you have to let go. An abundant life demands letting go and soaring with the eagles.