~~~~~~~~~ "We are here for only a moment, wanderers and sojourners in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace." I Chron. 29:15 NLT

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Where are we going?

I'm reading an interesting book from our church library:  Making Life Rich Without Any Money, by Phil Callaway.  Not any money??  That takes me back to childhood when everything I needed was provided by my parents, and the only money I thought I had to have went for candy and trinkets.  I guess it's good to get my thinking straight and realize that Callaway is trying to convince me that my happiness or peace of mind doesn't depend on money.

I can't resist titles like this.  I'm usually living on the edge of my budget because it seems as if there's never enough money to last the month.  Yet, there are people who are living off of less than what I and my hubby make together.  I'm not sure I could live on my social security alone--I'd have to be boarding at some kind relative's house.  My net social security wouldn't pay the rent on a one-bedroom apartment in most places, and after prescriptions and some necessary personal stuff, I would barely have enough to eat to stay alive.  Now there's a weight-loss diet that would insure success.

Back to Callaway and the book.  I like the way he mixes humor with an edge of seriousness instead of the other way around.  Here are some of the titles from the short chapters in Part One, Rich People Know the Speed Limit:  Speechless in Seattle, Fiddler On the Sly, The Smarties Guide to Finances. 

In the chapter titled, "Fiddler On the Sly," Callaway tells the story of the famous violinist, Joshua Bell, who plays a million-dollar Stradivarius. He normally draws packed-out concerts and earns $1,000 a minute. In the interest of observing human behavior Washington Post asked Bell to stand, in jeans and baseball cap, at Washington's L'Enfant Plaza Station near a shoe-shine stand and busy newsstand.  He plays some of the "most elegant music ever written" for 45 minutes as 1,097 people hurry by. 

Callawy writes, "The results are painful to watch....In the 43 minutes that Joshua Bell plays, seven people pause for at least a minute to hear the virtuoso play.  Twenty-seven give money. One thousand seventy speed by.  Many have cell phones to their ears.  Some nurse coffee.  Hardly a soul bothers to look....Only one of the 1097 recognized Bell. His total take was $32.17,"  which included a twenty from the one who recognized him.  Bell later said with a laugh, "'That's not so bad, considering.  That's 40 bucks an hour.  I could make an okay living doing this, and I wouldn't have to pay an agent.'"

I'm wondering, what would I do?  I love music, yet how much time would I actually take, while hurrying to an appointment, to stop and listen to a street musician?


Rebecca said...

Wow! That Joshua Bell story is interesting! Funny how we automatically try to assign $$ to talent, work, etc.

Betty said...

I´ve heard of the Joshua Bell story before and it impressed me then. Too often we are too busy to "hear the music". It made me think.

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