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Your Life: In times of despair, remember Itzhak Perlman’s example

Charlotte Lankard: Life can leave you full of despair, but when it does, remember violinist Itzhak Perlman’s example.

BY CHARLOTTE LANKARD Published: January 7, 2013

He did neither. He waited a moment, closed his eyes and then signaled the conductor to begin again. The stunned audience knew it was impossible to play a symphonic work with just three strings, but Perlman refused to know that and they listened as he modulated, changed and recomposed the piece in his head. At one point, it sounded like he was de-tuning the strings to get new sounds from them never made before.

When he finished, there was an awed silence and then people rose to their feet applauding and cheering.

British novelist Phyllis Bottome wrote, “There are two ways of meeting difficulties. You alter the difficulties or you alter yourself to meet them.”

Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. Email her at

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