Tuesday, August 10, 2010
A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold, December morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.
Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.
A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.
A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.
The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.
In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.
No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.
Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100 each.
From: The Washington Post
Monday, May 03, 2010
But I never really listened to the lyrics itself. Pretty awesome feel good song.
I don't wanna be older... but, oh well, it's a great listen.
The Beach Boys - Wouldn't it be nice
Thursday, April 01, 2010
I looked up from my work. Something was not right.
Me: "You saw her on her FIRST day, walking in with Y?"
Me: "Are you sure?"
Him: "Of course. It was just her and Y walking in together that morning."
And he went on to describe her clothing on that morning. Collared t-shirt and jeans.
I nodded and smiled to myself.
On that day, also my first day, I had walked in with Y, wearing a collared t-shirt and jeans.
It's really cool, to have my "gang" in school scattered all around the world. USA, Australia, England, Scotland, Russia, and Singapore... It's almost like we don't believe in going to the same country. But the awesome powers of the internet enables us to keep in touch constantly. Sometimes, it's almost like we've never been apart. We get to exchange stories, so we get a little taste of what life is like in each country.
While globalization has its great perks, I feel that to a certain extent, it makes the world a lonelier place to be. Communication over the internet is great, but nothing beats actually being together in the same place at the same time.
Coming back from overseas, we have the idea that we are going "home". Home is where everything and everyone is supposed to be. But when we are home, excited to meet up with "the gang" just like before we left, we find that they're not there. They're all scattered all over the world. So we end up just hanging around at home alone with no friends.
As for relationships, what is the point in getting into one when one or the other will be leaving for another country possibly forever? Globalization brings people together, but they also keep them apart.
Life is full of uncertainties. Things change. Added with globalization and technology, life has more uncertainties, and things change at a faster pace.
Globalization. I don't like it. My friends are all scattered all around the world, so is my family, potential spouses, and even me. There's no knowing where I'll be, and there's no knowing where everyone will be.
The simple chance of two people being in the same country at the same time. It's a blessing.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
I remember school. I remember the childishness in all of us. We were all such naive, cocky, proud and arrogant kids who thought we knew everything and can do anything. Sure, to a certain extent, we were right. We were young and the future was bright. The possibilities were endless.
4 years down the road, I look at myself, and all my friends. How we have changed.
Lots of us gained weight. Many girls, so much prettier. Guys, more hunky. That's external changes.
As for internal changes, I thought so many of us have turned out to be such pleasant people. All the assholes whom I thought would be assholes for life, are to my surprise, no longer assholes. All the "losers" who I thought had no hope, changed dramatically for the better.
So I made the assumption that as we grow older, we would all be more mature. More understanding, more compassionate, more polite and courteous. We would know more on how to behave as adults. Decent educated people in society. Most of us are now, after all, legally adults now and pursuing higher education.
Surely, we would know what we were like in school? If we were naughty or mischievous, proud and arrogant, nerdy and lifeless, quiet and timid, loud and brash. Surely, we would have by now, learnt to leash that side of us, and know, there is a place and time for everything?
I know for sure, my friends and I have. For your sake, I hope you have or will grow up soon.
I do not understand how at 21, anyone can still talk like a secondary school kid. At 21, you are no longer excused as naive. You are just plain ungrateful and ignorant with no basic manners.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
We all die.
Sooner or later, we all die.
Reading the news, hearing from people of people who have lost loved ones… We all feel sad, but never really understanding the real pain they feel. We’ll never truly understand until we’ve gone through it ourselves. In comforting others, the most we can do is imagine.
While exercising my imagination, with the help of my friend who has gone through loss, I was barely deep in it when I felt this… fear.
One by one, I went through all my loved ones, and grieved that I can lose them one day. It didn’t matter if they were young or old, healthy or not, life can just end anytime for anyone.
To go through loss over and over, as more and more loved ones die, painted me a scary picture. Every person I invest my life in will just die. All the time I spent with them all to develop an intimate relationship will be gone. I could lose them all.
I’ll be alone.
For every friend I have, I don’t know how long they will live. How can I choose my best friend? The friend who will walk with me everyday for the rest of my life right to my death bed.
I want to know, so I’ll know who I can depend on to always be there.
And it suddenly occurred to me. My friend.
My friend who I deserted. My friend who I was annoyed at. My friend who I was lazy to keep in touch with… This is the friend who would walk with me every day for the rest of my life. The friend who would not die on me.
The answer just slaps me in the face. As much as I try to run... As much as I hate to say it and sound all "oh-so-typically-holy"...
The answer just comes back to being, my friend...