What are you listening for?

A monk needed to go into the big city for an errand, accompanied by one of his acquaintances. In the midst of urban uproar the monk claimed to have heard a cricket, though his companion did not believe him. Crossing the road and looking carefully under a tree the monk found the cricket, to the astonishment of his companion.
– “You must have a supernatural hearing!”
– “No. My ears are not different from yours,” said the monk. “But everything depends on what you are used to listening to.”
– “No! I would not be able to hear a cricket in this noise!” said the companion.
– “It all depends on what is important to you,” reiterated the monk. “Let’s make a demonstration.” So the monk took out a few coins from his pocket and dropped them on the asphalt. And despite of the loud noise of the city, all the people around them turned their heads thinking the scattered coins could have fallen from their pockets.
– “Do you understand now? It all depends on what is important to people… If we watch or listen to the daily news on television, our ears become accustomed only to what is ugly and evil. We become fearful and helpless! Then we will say: “Life is hard, people are evil, we live in an insecure and ugly world, you cannot trust anyone or anything…”

And meanwhile the crickets sing, the leaves rustle, the waters flow.. and we do not hear them.

-Taken from Orthodox Gladness


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