Lessons From The Professor

It has been a month now since I heard of the passing of Neil Peart. I was at work when I got the news and it hit me hard. While I’d never met him, his music and writings have been with me most of my life. His work was brilliant and always inspirational to me. I’ve never been one to idolize celebrities and I certainly didn’t think of him as a “rock star”. I’d love to have had the chance to meet him – not for the sake of shaking hands with a famous musician, getting an autograph, or any of that stuff. I’d simply have loved to chat or maybe share a bit of road by motorcycle with this talented and interesting character.

My friends know how much Neil meant to me. I started getting messages of sympathy from friends the day his passing was announced, including some folks from way back in my high school days who I hadn’t heard from in years! Some would say he was a hero of mine, but that’s not quite right. Saying I was a huge fan doesn’t cut it either (fan, deriving from fanatic, carried a negative connotation to Neil). Really, I just admired what he did and appreciated the things I learned over the years through his words and example.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been listening to a lot of Rush and reflecting back on what it was about Neil that I respected so much. There are a number of lessons I’ve learned from The Professor over the years, gleaned from his books, interviews, and instructional videos. Here are a few that stick out the most.

“We’re only immortal for a limited time.”

Thanks Neil. For everything.