Saturday, April 23, 2011

We Are All Of Us Galapagos: An Essay On Evolutionary Psychology In Buskingdom

1831. Charles Darwin sails to the Galapagos Islands on the H.M.S. Beagle. He wonders how so many different plants and animals arrived there in the first place, and how they are so perfectly adapted for their environments.

1859. Charles Darwin's book, On the Origin of Species, is released to the public. The book describes the principle of Natural Selection, the skinny of which is the strongest survive and therefore increase the strength of the species.

Darwin concluded that once on the island, the varied species established themselves and determined their territories. I've decided that this, too, is true within the citizenry of Buskingdom.

Within any territory worth busking, there is a macedoine of people, a Chaucerian parade of characters both fixed and in transit, preferrably demarcated within a downtown environment. Some of these characters will be sellers, some will be shoppers. Some of these characters will be tourists, some will be service providers. Some of these characters will be beggars, and some even, will be buskers.

Day to day within any prescribed buskingdom, the people patterns are predictably similar to any day previous and to any day hence. Most of the merchants will be stationary. The shoppers and tourists will be transitory. They will arrive and depart. The beggars will search for places to bask in the sunshine, yet keep themselves among the crowds. And we buskers, will move according to where we think the most coins will be tossed.

And just how do all these people survive within this mercantile environment? To this question I believe the answers are simple and multiple. Amicable merchants who sell quality products at a reasonable prices; their businesses will thrive. Shoppers that are lucid and mobile will continue to shop (until they drop) in the malls, niche and novelty shops. Begrime free beggars and cadges who have the stamina to stay downtown, will continue to pester and plug along.

We buskers, however, need to employ other skill sets, in ways that are atypical from the previously mentioned populace.

Buskers need to observe. Specifically, we need to study the faces in the crowd and generally, we need to observe the whereabouts of the crowd. (Not much need to play here when everyone is gathered over there.)

Buskers need to believe. We must be felicitous and muster the confidence in our own personalities and talents to keep entertaining to certain persons in particular, and yet to everyone in general. We must do this throughout the entire durations of any busk.

Buskers need to react. If no one is listening to any of our songs, we must change our playlist. If no one is tossing coins our way, we must move up the street.

Finally, buskers need to enjoy. We must stay positive and keep smiling. And sometimes we have to remind ourselves that work does not get any better than this!

We must be continuously observing, believing, reacting, and enjoying. Intertwining these behaviors, will provide opportunities to create our own kismet for many a copacetic and glorious day in Buskingdom.

In so doing we will stay strong. We will survive ...

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