This I Believe

Manuel - Nashville, Tennessee
Entered on March 12, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

“Start with the end in mind”. These are words that my father told me when I was young and repeated many times over the years as I grew to be a man. At the time he was referring to a project or piece that I was about to build for a guitar. You see, I am a luthier, third generation and build string instruments by hand. This is a tradition that was passed down to my father by his father and uncle and one I hope to pass down to my child someday. The methods that they used to build are still the same I use today in an art that has become a mass produced product. I have made a choice to continue the tradition and honor the history and legacy passed down to me, but it has not been easy.

Integrity is a trait that I attempt to portray in not just my craft, but my life. I try to give my clients honest and helpful information, build in a manner that does not cut corners, show love and respect to my friends and family, and care for my self and my body. Any of these individually can be a struggle and collectively can seem impossible, but as I have grown and become a husband and father, I am now beginning to understand my father’s instruction. Although he was teaching me patience and skill in guitar making, his greater plan was to teach me life lessons.

When I got married, I had a plan for what type of husband and partner I wanted to be to my wife, Julie. When I think of being a father, I imagine the stressful moments and times I will grow impatient and how I want to react in a manner that does not damage or devalue my child. As I go through my daily life I set up opportunities to be held accountable by my trusted friends. All these things make it possible for me attempt a life that I hope and pray will leave an example that will help influence those I come in contact with and when I fall short, as I often do, I can then exercise asking forgiveness of myself and others. These may seem like different topics, but for me they all are shaped down to Integrity.

“Start with the end in mind”, A simple statement that can shape a life.

This, I believe!