Do you ever get discouraged by man’s inhumanity to man? It can be discouraging to read or watch the news and witness yet another tragedy, scandal or man-made disaster.
The good news is, we can CHOOSE what we give our attention to. And who and what we give our attention to determines the quality of our life.
So on this SERENDESTINY site (SerenDestiny is when you’re leading a life with the light on in your eyes because you’re creating a life that’s congruent with your values and priorities) … you will find positive quotes, articles and stories focusing on human-KIND.
I hope you will be energized and inspired by these examples reminding us of all we have to be grateful for and happy about – and be motivated to contribute to what’s right in the world – in your own way every day.
Here’s one of my favorite examples reminding us to pause and appreciate the beauty around us – that’s waiting for us to pay attention.
I remember reading an article by Gene Weingarten in the Washington Post Sunday Magazine years ago. It was so brilliant, I threw the magazine down and said out loud, “Just give the man the Pulitzer.”
Weingarten wondered, “What would happen if you took a renowned violinist and positioned him inside a D.C Metro Stop during morning rush hour?
What if you asked him to play six compositions, each ‘masterpieces that have endured for centuries,’ and asked him to play these symphonies on a rare Stradivarius?
Would any of the hundreds of people streaming by take a moment to pay attention to a free concert by “one of the finest classical musicians in the world, playing some of the most elegant music ever written on one of the most valuable violins ever made?”
In the 45 minutes Joshua Bell played, (yes, the Joshua Bell who packs them in at concert halls around the globe), only seven (!) people paid any attention to his performance. The other 1070 people all rushed by, seemingly oblivious to the miracle in their midst.
Weingarten’s point? There were several. One of which was to quote W.H. Davies who said, “‘What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stop and stare.’
At what cost are we so busy, so driven, so distracted, so preoccupied, that we have lost the ability to see, hear, imprint and be grateful for the beauty around us?”
Another intriguing insight, “There was no demographic pattern to distinguish the few people who stopped to watch Bell from the majority who hurried past. But every time a child walked past, s/he tried to stop and watch. And every single time, a parent scooted the kid away.”
Hmmm. Makes you think, doesn’t it?
Kudos to Gene Weingarten for his thought-provoking article Pearls Before Breakfast. Please take the time to read it and ask yourself “Would I have taken a moment to listen to Bell? Why or why not? Have I become inured to my surroundings? Have I become so caught up in my to-do’s, I’m missing my life? At what cost?
What Are You Giving Your Attention To?
“Tell me to what you’re paying attention and I’ll tell you who you are.” – José Ortega y Gasset
Starting today, vow to focus your attention on what’s right with your world instead of what’s wrong. Instead of reading or listening to the news, which dwells on man’s inhumanity to man, deliberately choose to give your attention to what’s uplifting, inspiring and enlightening.
Want another example of what’s right with the world? Have you heard about Eric Whitacre? Have you ever had the chicken-skin experience of singing in a choir or hearing a concert of hundreds of voices lifted in song?
Well, Eric thought, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could gather people from around the world – online – and conduct a “virtual choir” with several thousand people from 58 countries … all singing the same song at the same time?” Take a few moments to listen to the transcendent results of Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir 2 “Water Night.”
Do it right now. Really. Don’t “pass by” this offering of man’s humanity to man.
I promise, for the moments you listen to this, you will be swept up in the gift of human creativity and collaboration. You will be immersed in one of the many things right with our world. By choosing to pay attention to examples of human-KIND, you’ll see your life and world in a more positive, proactive light. And that serves and lifts us all.