Joe, a Native-American and his friend Henry were in downtown New York City, walking near Times Square in Manhattan. It was during the noon 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, Joe said, “I 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,” Joe said, “I heard a cricket.”
“That’s crazy,” said Henry.
Joe 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. Henry was utterly amazed. “That’s incredible, you must have superhuman ears!”
“No,” said Joe. “My ears are no different from yours. It all depends on what you’re listening for.”
“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. And then, with the noise of the crowded street still blaring in their ears, they noticed every head within twenty-feet turn and look to see if the money that tinkled on the pavement was theirs.
“See what I mean?” asked Joe. “It all depends on what’s important to you.”