Springingtiger's Blog


Busker Breakthrough
February 3, 2013, 00:18
Filed under: Uncategorized

I had a breakthrough this week which, were it not for my participation in the Landmark Education Money Seminar, would not have happened, or rather would not have happened just now. I do not speak to people as a rule, except in certain formalised contexts. I will speak to people at work, but usually only if they initiate the conversation, there are a few exceptions to this rule. I will share in a seminar context, indeed the guy who did my welcome call to the Money Seminar clocked that “human interaction” was one of my reasons for doing it. I like the internet, I like print, I don’t like speech as much. I like recordings I can play back, but in a live seminar or telecast perhaps fifty percent or more of what people say is just not processed by me. I have sort of mastered the art of looking like I’m listening – I don’t fool my wife – by nodding and grunting, it’s easy because most people are too busy talking to notice when someone is not actually registering what they are saying. I can search a shop for hours for something, whereas my wife will find an assistant and ask for it, she’s a useful person to have on a shopping trip. I do not initiate conversations with strangers and I find it almost impossible to use someone’s first name unless we have been introduced, which is what brought about my autism diagnosis in the first place. I can use people’s first names in seminars because they wear them on badges and that gives me permission to use them.

This week as part of the homework we had to give money away. In Sauchiehall Street a man was playing the saxaphone, as I walked past I dropped a couple of pounds into his saxaphone case and he nodded, but then I stopped. Instead of walking on I stopped and listened to the piece he was playing, right to the end. When he finished I applauded and told him I enjoyed it, he smiled and thanked me. It was obvious that the money mattered a lot less than that someone had taken the trouble to appreciate what he was doing. I am glad I stopped. I’m glad that dropping money in his bag provided a context in which I could initiate a short interchange, I shall probably do it again.

I realise that money may not be what we think it is, I am certain it is less important than we believe. The saying that, “Time is money” is patently untrue, the time I spent listening to that saxophonist was far more valuable both to him and me than the money I gave him. It’s an old saw but it still cuts that we are so good at putting a price on everything that we lose sight of the value of anything. We need to look carefully at what really matters to us, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

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