I believe in the value of a beat. A steady beat that creates, separates, regulates. An underlying pulse that lasts forever. A beat that regulates the tempo. A beat that keeps the body alive. A beat so precious, struggling to keep going.
Growing up with a doctor as a father and a music major as a mother, I was introduced very early to the beat. When I wasn’t listening to the soft staccato of the heart, I had the beat of a metronome pulsing through me. Through the years of my music lessons and anatomy lectures, I quickly understood the value of a beat.
As a child, I had much trouble learning to play an instrument. My mother saw the problem, and knew how to fix it. She gave me a classical CD with only one song on it. I was to listen to the song until I discovered the purpose of the exercise. I did not see the purpose, but I did as I was told. For hours, I listened to the one song on that CD. I listened until it rang in my head. Tired of listening to the song, I went to complain to my mother. She told me that I should listen to it one last time. I went back and listened one last time. It was no different than before, but I began to see the point of the exercise. I began to feel the music in me and I started to hear the underlying beat in the music. It pulsed through me like the heart monitor in the operation room. That day I learned something I would never forget. The value of a beat.
I often sat in the operation room, watching my father loom over his patients. I listened to the pleasant beat that the heart monitor made through the length of the operation. Occasionally, the tempo would speed up, or slow down, but for the majority of the time, it stayed constant. However, one day, the beats stopped. I looked around in confusion as the beats were replaced by a steady tone. I became worried when the comforting beats of the heart monitor were suddenly gone. At the time, I did not know exactly what had happened, but I learned something that day. Something that remains true to this day. Something I would never forget. The value of a beat.
As a child, I was taught about the beat and its many various forms. It is found in many different places, and yet it remains the same. It is still a beat, whether it’s from a heart monitor or in a piece of music, it is still a beat. It is a simple beat that represents so much. Life. Death. It is a beat, and it is what I believe.
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