Two friends were walking along a busy Manhattan street during the 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, one of them said, "What an interesting place to 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," his friend said, "I heard a cricket."

"That’s crazy," said his friend.

The man, who thought he had heard a cricket, 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 man who heard the cricket. "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. Then, with the noise of the crowded street still blaring in their ears, they noticed every head within 20 feet turn and look to see if the money that tinkled on the pavement was theirs.

"See what I mean?" asked the man who heard the cricket. "It all depends on what’s important to you." (Keenan Kelsey, “Making Choices")


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