Grandparents can teach us so many wonderful lessons.
For Justin Whaling of Canada, two of the most important were playing the piano and serving others. Blind since birth, Justin figured out the instrument by listening to his late grandmother. Since then, the practice has brought him so much joy that he’s continued to use it to give back to his community and honor his role model.
That’s why he takes a bus to a hospital in Edmonton, Ontario, four times a week. When he arrives, he sits in front of a Yamaha piano in the lobby and starts playing one of the 200 songs he knows by heart.
Many people equate hospitals with sickness, despair, and sadness — but not when Justin comes by! His music brings joy to the halls and peace to his audience.
According to his grandmother’s wisdom, Justin doesn’t accept any payments beyond the kindness and praise he receives from patients, staff members, and visitors.
“It’s just wonderful to watch the joy Justin brings to so many people,” hospital volunteer Jim O’Neill said, adding that Justin’s frequent fans call him the “Piano Man.”
One visitor was moved by Justin’s talent and selfless desire to bring music to others. “He’s an inspiration,” she said, her eyes misty with tears. “If you’re going through difficult times, like everybody has difficult times, it brings a smile.”
Of course, Justin simply enjoys the opportunity to create music for those who need it most. While he may never become famous, he said, “I feel like a star, right here on this piano, this beautiful, wonderful piano.”
Justin’s talent is truly something to behold. What an incredible gift to share with the world and honor a grandmother’s legacy of kindness.
Watch the “Piano Man” perform in the video below, and be sure to share his touching story with others.
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