INSTANT WISDOM > SPECIAL > STORIES
01/04/01

HEARING THE CRICKET 

A Native American and his friend were in downtown New York City,
walking near Times Square in Manhattan. It was during the noon lunch
hour and the streets were filled with people. Cars were honking their
horns, taxicabs were squealing around corners, sirens were wailing,
and the sounds of the city were almost deafening. 
Suddenly, the Native American said, "I hear a cricket." 
His friend said, "What? You must be crazy. You couldn't possibly hear a
cricket in all of this noise!" 
"No, I'm sure of it," the Native American said, "I heard a cricket." 
"That's crazy," said the friend. 
The Native American listened carefully for a moment, and then walked
across the street to a big cement planter where some shrubs were
growing. He looked into the bushes, beneath the branches, and sure
enough, he located a small cricket. 
His friend was utterly amazed. "That's incredible," said his friend.
"You must have superhuman ears!" 
"No," said the Native American. "My ears are no different from yours.
It all depends on what you're listening for." 
"But that can't be!" said the friend. "I could never hear a cricket in
this noise." 
"Yes, it's true," came the reply. "It depends on what is really
important to you. Here, let me show you." He reached into his pocket,
pulled out a few coins, and discreetly dropped them on the sidewalk.
And then, with the noise of the crowded street still blaring in their
ears, they noticed every head within twenty feet turn and look to see
if the money that tinkled on the pavement was theirs. 
"See what I mean?" asked the Native American. "It all depends on
what's important to you." 

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