In midtown New York, a Native American and his friend walked through Times Square. It was lunch hour; crazy hour. The streets were teeming with people. Cars honked, taxicabs squealed around corners, sirens wailed across town. The sounds of the city were almost deafening.
Suddenly, the Native American said, “I hear a cricket.”
Surprised, his friend said, “What? You must be crazy. You couldn’t possibly hear a cricket in all this noise!”
“No, I’m sure of it, I can hear a cricket.”
“That’s impossible,” insisted the friend.
The Native American cocked his head to the right, closed his eyes and listened carefully. He walked across the street to a large pot filled with shrubs. Gently lifting some leaves and branches he uncovered a little cricket. The friend was utterly amazed.
“That’s incredible, you must have superhuman ears!”
“No,” said the Native American, “my ears are no different from your ears; it just depends on what you’re listening for.”
“I could never hear a cricket in this noise,” said the friend.
“Well, it depends on what is important to you. Here, let me show you.”
The Native American reached into his pocket to pull out a few coins and dropped them on the pavement. Despite the blaring sounds and the hectic atmosphere, everyone within twenty feet turned their heads to check if the money that had tinkled on the pavement was theirs.
“See, you notice or not notice things depending on what’s important to you,” said the Native American.