Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Place In The Sun: An Essay On Busker Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem
to seize, grasp, enjoy the day

In a game of poker we are dealt cards that are not of our choosing. Sometimes we get strong hands; sometimes we get weak hands. Whether the hands we are dealt are weak or strong we try and make do. Sometimes the wisest choice is to immediately fold. Sometimes it is wise to bluff.

And so, too, is it in life. We are not dealt events of our choosing. We did not choose our parents; we did not choose our birthplace; we did not choose our gender. Sometimes the wisest choice is to just concede. Sometimes it is best to play things out until the end.

This is where the comparison between poker and life stops. Our hands in poker are completely independent of one another. Not so in life. How we deal with each hand in life determines our strategy and stamina for each succeeding hand thereon.

The place of each of our lives should always be in the sunshine. Generally, we ought to be happy, or be striving to be happy. And when we are happy, those whom we affect, too, should have lots of opportunity to be happy. I am speaking of spouses and children and friends and workmates and familiar strangers and those less fortunate than we. I am speaking of arriving at that place of altruism, self-actualization, and self-efficacy.

How do we get there? The answer lies in how we evolve given just an average 80 years of breath on this planet (guys 78, ladies 82). We can, I believe, evolve from whatever initial hands we are dealt, into being an overall card game winner at any table. From wherever we originate we have the potential to self-direct into a personable, positive, and generous sentient being.

Here is how:

To change our lives we must start immediately, right now, with no exceptions.

Imagine the person you'd like to be. Give that person your face and your name, and then go from there. If this imagined person needs a new body type, get fit. If this imagined person needs a better job, get trained. If this imagined person needs a different spouse and kids, work on changing yourself.

Imagine doing things you like to do. If this action is laughing, get smiling. If this action is hiking, get walking. If this action is playing and singing, get practicing.

The size of the gap between the real you and the imagined you determines the happiness in your life. The narrower the gap, the more harmonious your life will be. Likewise, the wider the gap, the more dissonant your life will be.

Some Psychology Candies to crunch on:

  • To do anything of substance we must make the time rather than find the time. Doing things in haste gives way to just being brummagem.

  • Rather than angst, busking for faux buskers ought to be cathartic. Busking for others ought to be joyful.

  • Generally to the listener, busker music is but ear candy. Busking for a cause (any cause) will most certainly add depth to any song.

  • When on a busk, dance rather than galumph between busk stations.

  • And we ought to be dancing and busking until that day of our infirm.

  • As we get older we'll find we'll only regret the things we didn't do.

Whatever place you are at present can be improved. Different people have different senses of places that are important. For me, my place is to be busking in my recreational time. For many, many others, their place of most importance is just to have a safe and clean shelter, have bread and drink on the table, and to be treated with respect. And this is why I am choosing to busk for the Canadian Mental Health Association come Summer.

'Til and in the Winter of my life do I hope to find my place in the sun and enjoy my day …

even if it means busking in the snowbanks!


  1. Great Pic!!! And another thought provoking post.

  2. Good food for thought, Neil! Keep on merging the dream with the reality!