Roses or Coffeeby
was a story going around a few weeks ago. One of those annual holiday Ďfeel goodí
things that we all get from time to time. Anyway, this one had to do with some
famous violin player in Washington, D.C. Anyway, this accomplished musician (Joshua
Bell) set up shop in a subway and played some of his most difficult pieces for
a couple of hours. I checked this story out on one of the urban legend websites
and it came back as being true.
During the couple of hours this guy was
there he collected some 32 bucks in tips, but no one recognized him or the fact
that he was playing on a violin worth over 3 million dollars. His performances
are usually sold out with tickets going for $100 and higher.
of this was an experiment in how we perceive beauty. Given that Mr. Bell was not
in his natural environment, it is somewhat of a surprise to learn that no one
stopped to appreciate the work and artistry of this person.
This is the
beginning of a new year. Iím thinking I need to slow down and smell the roses
or the coffee or whatever there is to smell before itís too late. I have found
myself driving slower these past few weeks and enjoying it more. Not to save gas,
but to look around instead of just getting from point ĎAí to point ĎBí. Itís amazing
what Iíve missed over these past years.
I am determined to get up earlier
and stay up later. If I get up earlier, I get a head start on the day and donít
have to rush so much to get everything done that I need to finish. I find that
most of the stress I deal with on a daily basis is mostly of my own doing. So,
my new motto for the coming year is to not sweat the small stuff and to consider
it all small stuff.
I really should only worry about the things I can
change or do something about. Most of the things that I encounter in a normal
day I canít fix or do anything about, so why should I waste my time fooling with
these things in the first place? As expressed in the beginning paragraph, there
is beauty in everything around us, if we just take the time to look around and
Sure, we get angry about our economy and our thieving politicians,
but aside from voting and writing letters, what else is there for us to do? I
will never stop expressing my opinion for as long as I live and couldnít care
less if someone takes offense to it. Thatís one of the benefits of growing old.
You get to do what you want and for the most part, say what you feel like saying
when you want to say something. At least as long as it doesnít hurt anyoneís feelings
that you care about. I put that last part in so everyone wonít think Iím a total
curmudgeon. I love that word.
Anyway, the point of all of this is that
life comes fast and furious, folks get born and folks die off every year of our
being here on planet Earth. Some of them get gone before we have had a chance
to even know what they were all about. Personally I think thatís a shame and I
intend to do something about it. This year I am going to listen more and talk
less. I want to know what is on peopleís minds and what they are all about. Everyone
has a story to tell and all of us need someone to listen to our story. If weíre
lucky we get to live a long time. How sad for us if we donít take a few minutes
to stop and look around us and see all of the good things in our world. Lord knows
we see enough bad.
So, look for me to slow down and listen more than I
normally do since I think Iíve been missing some of the beauty of my lifetime.
Never too late to play catch-up is there?
Letters From North America January
7, 2009 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers
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