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Old 29-06-2007, 22:59   #16
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It's true that in our working lives we don't often have the desire to distract ourselves and enjoy beauty around us. But aren't we all into cruising, boating, etc. to try and regain that quality time? That perfect anchorage, the sunset someone mentioned, the walk on a deserted beach, all these things of beauty we try to recoupe. The price we have to pay for it, is the rat race we join, to earn the money we need, to pay for the vacations and cruising. It's called life.
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Old 30-06-2007, 11:34   #17
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I get the point of the thread and the article was extremely well written.

OTOH...you know a lot of folks (like me) are not particularly fond of violins and classical music played on one. One can admire the techical proficiency but not give a whit about the music or the player. So...I think the choice of player and instrument may have had something to do with the reaction.
Put Josh Groban or Andrea Bocelli in that lobby and you'd have a crowd in a minute....They ought to try it with Sanjaya!! (G)
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Old 01-07-2007, 08:54   #18
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I think the article speaks volumes about who we (as a society), have become. "The Rat Race".

It seems our lives are so hectic and driven, but by what? Money, the pursuit of money, things, and the money to buy those things. Let's face it, this is the focus of too many people's lives. It is their reason for existing. Everything else becomes secondary to that pursuit, because we think money will give us the time and freedom to just stop and listen to the world. But the pursuit of money trumps all because, in most people's minds, you never have enough. In reality it doesn't take as much money to buy that freedom as we are taught to believe.

Remember when we were sold the bill of goods that technology would free up our lives so we could have more leisure time? In some respects it did. But what we did then is we came up with more technology to fill the leisure time we created with the first technology creating this treadmill most of us call life. And you know what? It is never ending. 24 hour news, multi-tasking, nose to the grindstone, pda's to organize it all, a cell phone so we can be accessible at all times....

I was a street musician for three years, making a modest living at it. Some days I would make $30, and some days I would make a couple of hundred for about 3-4 hours playing. This was from '85-'88. In '85 it was good, people stopped and sat and listened and put a few coins in my case in appreciation. But the money started to fall off as those three years progressed.

Know what happened? It was the heyday of the eighties, when people started to think mainly of themselves and the pursuit of money, and not the world outside their sphere. By the time I quit playing the streets I was considered, by a lot of people, just another bum looking for a hand-out. The music, and the effort I was putting forth to play it, didn't matter, I was just another guy trying to make money off society by not doing my part, no different than a "welfare cheat". I'm not making this up, people actually told me that. "Get a real job!", they would shout as they passed by. I suspect that in part, that is the conditioning that would cause a lot of people to pay no attention to a world class musician like Joshua Bell.

At the time I lived in my VW van traveling to where the good weather was to play music. I only had room for the things I needed because there wasn't room in my "home" for a lot of extra crap.

That's one reason I now want to live on my boat. I have lived in houses for the last 19 years, and have accumulated the usual unnecessary stuff. I want to get back to the days of having only what is necessary, and lessen my time in the rat race.

The one thing that stood out in the article for me, was the quote from the poet Billy Collins. He...."observed that all babies are born with a knowledge of poetry....Then, Collins said, life slowly starts to choke the poetry out of us."

Thanks for posting the article. It reinforces the reason why I am pursuing the cruising life.
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Old 01-07-2007, 14:48   #19
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Thanks Ole, for your insight --- I think that is the point the original poster was trying to make. I couldn't agree more. I found it very disheartening when an earlier poster said something to the effect of people can't "waste their time" to stop and listen to music while on their way to work. I think it's much more of a waste to not even acknowledge, or look at, that artist in the subway -- even for 30 seconds!?!? Heaven forbid one of those federal employees should show up 30 seconds late for a meeting --- please! I'm a federal employee, and you wouldn't be missing much at one of those meetings! Luckily, I'll be out of the rat race by the end of the year -- as soon as the house sells!




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Old 01-07-2007, 21:49   #20
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Here are my two cents worth on this topic. Having "existed" (not really "lived") in D.C. for a short time in 1986 and having visited the area a number of times otherwise, I am not at all surprised at the survey results. As has been mentioned by a few other posters here, most people on their way to work in the morning, especially in D.C., don't have time to "stop and smell the roses". Their daily trek from home to office takes X number of minutes so they allow themselves X+3 minutes, as did John David Mortensen in the article. Anything that eats into the +3 minutes can be tolerated but the X number of minutes is sacrosanct.

Then there is the matter of context. As was mentioned in other posts, people in a concert hall expecting a virtuoso will react quite differently from commuters on their way to work expecting to see a homeless person playing for change in the subway. The different settings definitely would produce different responses to the same stimulus.
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Old 02-07-2007, 06:14   #21
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Quote:
people in a concert hall expecting a virtuoso will react quite differently from commuters on their way to work expecting to see a homeless person playing for change in the subway.
Problem is, it's that same virtuoso that people ignored simply because of the setting. Context should not make a difference when it comes to beauty. (BTW not all street musicians are homeless) We have been conditioned to ignore art unless it's in the right "context". Nobody is suggesting that they should have stopped and listened for an hour. But, regardless of his talent, he was just "a homeless person playing for change in the subway" and therefore not worthy of even a glance and a smile for what he was doing. Simply to recognize his human-ness.

I think what the study and article was trying to say is that we are losing the ability to stop and smell the roses, hear the virtuoso, see the beauty that is around us unless it fits into our relentless pursuit of the buck. If we take those same dollars and pay for a ticket, then, and only then, will we pay attention.

With our technologically driven society and the pursuit of money to buy that technology, our attention spans have shortened and are spread thin, and what we have left only gets delegated out if it is costing us money. Again, it seems that money, and assigning monetary value to the things in our lives, is the focus.
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Old 02-07-2007, 19:34   #22
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Look. I get it. We should slow down and smell the roses.

What about if you took your kid to the emergency room with a severe trauma and there was no one there.

The explanation is that the ER staff stopped in the subway to listen to a violin player and they'll be here in 45 minutes.

It is not reasonable to expect everyone to simply stop what they are doing because someone is playing a violin.

Sorry to be so crass about it. I like beauty as much as the next person but this "example" is just not an indication of the state of society.

A better indication of society is if someone were injured or in distress in the street. Do people stop?
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Old 02-07-2007, 20:36   #23
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Respectfully, Ex-Calif, I disagree. This is a perfect example of society.

Quote:
Bell was watching the video weeks later. He understands why he's not drawing a crowd, in the rush of a morning workday. But: "I'm surprised at the number of people who don't pay attention at all, as if I'm invisible. Because, you know what? I'm makin' a lot of noise!"
And as for the person injured or in distress in the street, and do people stop?,
Quote:
"Couple of years ago, a homeless guy died right there. He just lay down there and died. The police came, an ambulance came, and no one even stopped to see or slowed down to look.
"People walk up the escalator, they look straight ahead. Mind your own business, eyes forward. Everyone is stressed. Do you know what I mean?"
The original post was pointing out why to go cruising. To get back to a life where you have the time to notice the beauty of the world. I'm there in 2-1/2 years and, obviously, I agree with the study in the article.

One of the reasons I want to go cruising is to have the time to, as Bob Bitchin says, contemplate my navel. Another is the community that is out there cruising. I have read countless articles about how cruisers come to each other's aid and help out when they don't have to. They could simply look the other way and say "Not my problem." Thing is, it could be them with the problem next time, and they know they would want the other cruisers to help them out.

I read an article, in one of the many cruising mags I get, about a guy with a steel boat who's anchor rode parted and ran hard aground in a storm. The other cruisers came to his aid by bringing their dinghys and pointing the outboards at his keel, and over the course of three days, blew enough sand out to float the boat off. There were pots of food to feed the people involved in the effort brought by other cruisers, gas donated for the outboards, etc. Community in the truest sense of the word.

It is another reason I want to go cruising--the sense of community in the land based world is dwindling. People are pulling inside and becoming more and more xenophobic and isolated. Heads down, eyes forward.

I was riding with a friend in his car when we witnessed a car accident. I asked if we were going to stop and help. His response floored me. "I ain't stopping because you could get sued if something goes wrong and the person dies." That is the society we have become. Obviously not everyone, but it is getting pretty screwed up out there, and only by recognizing this can we start to change.

Another two cents. Sorry for the rant.
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Old 02-07-2007, 23:24   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ole

Dan Said - And as for the person injured or in distress in the street, and do people stop?,
Your clip is why I posted it as a question. This is more of an indictment on society. Fortunately I have never witnessed people just walking away and I myself have stopped to help people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ole
The original post was pointing out why to go cruising. To get back to a life where you have the time to notice the beauty of the world. I'm there in 2-1/2 years and, obviously, I agree with the study in the article.
I guess that is also my point. While we are all building our war chest to actually go cruising we are dependant on this society that allows us to earn.

Of course everyone on the planet would love to go cruising - OK all the sane people. And even those who don't go cruising have their own dreams - A cabin in the woods, a chalet on a mountain, etc.

I am just at the point where everyone else's dreams are OK too.

BTW - read a bunch of cruising logs. There are hundreds of stories about cruisers calling up a parts guy and getting parts shipped to he bahamas on a moments notice.

Wouldn't be much good if they were all packed in a subway listening to free violin concertos - LOL.
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Old 03-07-2007, 02:04   #25
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Regardless of how hectic a life, you should ALWAYS stop and smell the roses (of the musical type or otherwise) To rush past the best of life, because you are to busy &quot;with life&quot;, working to enable you to have &quot;the time&quot; to enjoy life is ludicrous.......or in other words...&quot;I would rather be late because l happened to be some where just at the right time !!!
......PS my ferro boat is called Idler !!
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Old 05-07-2007, 09:44   #26
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No one can Stop and Smell EVERY Rose, nor should they... you have to be selective.

Same as with life... you have to be selective in what activities you become involved in. For many/ most of us... if we did not "select" to be involved in the "rat race" for a portion of our lives... we could not cruise anywhere much less where we wanted to.

Every action as effects, every action has cost. What your actions are now and in the past, determines what your actions can be. Being selective to reach your personal goals is what life is about. Many of our goals are to be involved in cruising, in many different forms. You have to have a plan on getting their or you just set on the shore and wish... smelling very rose generally will not get you to that point... maybe not out of the garden... you have to be selective.
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Old 07-07-2007, 18:34   #27
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No one can Stop and Smell EVERY Rose, nor should they... you have to be selective.
Become a gardener. A rich gardener.
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Old 07-07-2007, 22:56   #28
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l spent 15 years working as a gardener for someone very rich....and we had heaps of roses !!!!see there is always a way around it : )
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Old 11-07-2007, 04:18   #29
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A Fishing Story

Maybe this is what Rangiroo is talking about...

A Simple Life Well Lived

A Little Story

The businessman was at the pier of a small coastal
Mexican village when a small boat with just one
fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several
large yellowfin tuna. The businessman complimented the
Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long
it took to catch them. The Mexican replied only a
little while.

The businessman then asked why he didn't stay out
longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said selling these
was enough to support his family's immediate needs. The
businessman then asked, but what do you do with the
rest of your time? The Mexican fisherman said, "I
sleep late, fish a little, have fun with my family,
stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine
and play guitar with my amigos; I have a full and busy
life, seņor."

The businessman scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and I
could help you. You should spend more time fishing and
with the proceeds buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds
from the bigger boat you could buy several boats;
eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats.
Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you
would sell directly to the processor and eventually
open your own cannery. You would control the product,
processing and distribution. You would need to leave
this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City
then LA and eventually New York City where you
would run your expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But seņor, how long will
this all take?" To which the businessman replied,
"15-20 years." "But what then, seņor?" The businessman
laughed and said, "That's the best part! When the time
is right you would announce an IPO and sell your
company stock to the public and become very rich. You
would make millions."

"Millions, seņor? Then what?"

The businessman said, "Then you would retire. Move to
a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep
late, fish a little, have fun with my family, take
stroll to the village in the evenings where you could
sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."
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Old 11-07-2007, 08:29   #30
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Hahaha...EXACTLY!!!!!!....funny thing is....I read that story just recently somewhere......my whole point wasn't about a violin player...it was about taking the time...even if it is 2 minutes....to see the beauty around you....refresh your soul! instead of being SO caught up in the day to day humdrum that we miss the simple beauty that surrounds us....if you take the time it can be quite enlightening and good for you.....I remember one time (LOOOOOOOONG ago!) I was in a particularly black period in my life with seemingly no hope at the time of ever coming out of it...I was walking along the sidewalk in Oxford Square in Sydney wwhere I was surrounded by concrete and cars and dirty air and filth on the street and I was severely depressed about my situation and I happened to notice this one tiny flower growing in the crack of concrete at the curb....it was beautiful...and it reminded me that out of all that blackness beauty CAN survive and thrive...it changed my mood...it gave me a little bit of hope and light to cling to where I thought there was none....I resolved that day to actively look for the positive in EVERY situation and I have done so ever since....THAT is what I am talking about...beautiful music in a busy subway is worth NOTICING...it just might change your day.....
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