Dec 1, 2023
I often ponder over what drives individuals to opt for a deceitful path rather than a righteous one.
Lately, I've been contemplating the divergent decisions people make in identical situations. I often ponder over what drives individuals to opt for a deceitful path rather than a righteous one. This article delves into the opportunities presented to me and those around me, focusing on how my faith guided me towards the right choices.
As a musician, I've had the privilege of performing worldwide alongside multiple Grammy Award-winning artists. Throughout my years in the music industry, I've witnessed and encountered occurrences that some may only encounter through reading. While this industry teems with opportunities, it also harbors behaviors steeped in scandal. My steadfast relationship with God shielded me from the allure of drugs, alcohol, and other negative influences.
In my earlier years as an up-and-coming musician, I received a call from a prominent nightclub owner, who owned the most sought-after spot in town. This establishment drew eager crowds every night to witness local and international bands. A sudden opportunity arose when the singer of a renowned band scheduled for a Sunday performance fell ill. They asked if my band could fill in for a 9 pm show the following night, offering us a generous fee of $700—an excellent start for a budding band.
Upon arriving for the soundcheck, I was astonished to find a queue forming outside the club, hours before the show commenced. The club owner, as I set up my drums, remarked, 'I hope you're ready, kid!' The audience greeted us with cheers from the first note. They had come expecting the previously scheduled band but embraced our music, talent, and positive vibe. Perhaps our backstage group prayer played a role!
At the night's end, when I approached the club owner for payment, I was met by his brother, as the owner had left due to illness. Reassuring me, he handed over a brown paper bag. Only upon reaching home did I realize it contained $5,000 instead of the agreed $700. A miscommunication had occurred—his assumption being that we were the established band. I immediately contacted my older bandmate, suggesting we return the excess. Recalling Corinthians 4:2, emphasizing faithfulness in entrusted matters, I recognized this as a test from God and resolved to pass.
The following day, I returned to the club, acknowledging the mistake in payment. Astonished by my honesty, the owner not only corrected the error but also offered my band a regular spot every Tuesday for five years. Although keeping the money would have been easier, the long-term benefits of doing the right thing were immeasurable.
Years later, I crossed paths with the bass player who initially suggested keeping the money. He confided in me that his dishonest actions had led to being 'blacklisted' by numerous recording studios and clubs. While he didn't elaborate, it was evident his dubious behavior had consequences.
In 2005, while touring with a world-renowned pop star, our band encountered a scenario at a Sydney studio. We discovered a bag containing $7,000 left behind. Without hesitation, I declared that we must act honestly, quoting not only biblical teachings but also recognizing the value of integrity.
One of the band members, a young man from the Middle East, commended my wisdom in prioritizing honesty. In jest, I attributed it to Corinthians 8:21, highlighting the significance of honesty in actions.
Returning the money proved fortuitous as it belonged to an Italian immigrant, his life savings inadvertently left behind. My decisions to uphold honesty were profoundly influenced by the teachings I held dear. This integrity didn't just establish me as a talented musician but also as an upright individual. It fostered invaluable relationships with tour managers, club owners, and studio staff, underscoring that success in the music industry wasn't solely grounded in talent but also in honesty.
Magesh has written for “Lessonface,” “Aeyons,” “The Modern Rogue,” “Euronews,” “The Roland corporation,” “Penlight,” and “Elite Music.” He writes several monthly publications on music education. In the past, Magesh has written for parenting, humor, mental health, and travel websites as well.