Gerry was walking down a sidewalk in Washington D.C., with a Native American friend who worked in the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It was lunchtime in Washington. People were husslin’ and busslin’ along the sidewalks, and car honks and hurried engine noises filled the streets. In the middle of all this traffic, Gerry’s friend stopped and said, “hey, a. cricket!”
“What?” said Gerry.
“Yeah, a cricket,” said his friend. “Look here,” and he pulled aside some of the bushes that separated the sidewalk from the government buildings. There in the shade was a cricket chirping away.
“Wow,” said Gerry, “How did you hear that with all this noise and traffic?”
“Oh,” said the Native man. “It was the way I was raised … what I was taught to listen for. Here, I’ll show you something.”
The Native man reached into his pocket and pulled out a handful of coins … nickels, quarters, dimes … and dropped then on the sidewalk. Everyone who was rushing by stopped to … listen.
Source: Susan Strauss
Passionate Fact: Storytelling in Natural History and Cultural Interpretation (Fulcrum Publishing, 1996) page 9
We with our busy lives, rushing down highways and byways, preoccupied with our own inner thoughts and expectations, what do we hear?
Where is your focus? What are you paying attention to? What are you listening to?