Pay Attention

This is a Chicago hot dog from Gene & Jude's I had last month.  It was awesome.

This is a hot dog from Gene & Jude’s I had when I was visiting Chicago last month. It was awesome.

Buddha walks up to a hot dog stand.  “What’ll it be?”  the vendor asks.  Buddha says “One with everything,” and slides over a ten-dollar bill.  Vendor hands Buddha a hot dog but no change.  “Where’s my change?” Buddha asks.  Vendor says, “Change must come from within.”

Which reminds me of a true story:

When I first got into martial arts I was a sponge for everything the master said.  One Saturday when the studio was slow and there weren’t many people around, he pulled me aside and asked me into his office.  I was ecstatic.  Surely I was about to receive an incredible nugget of wisdom, some secret teaching.  I stood  there in his small, cramped office quivering with anticipation.  He went behind his desk, opened the drawer, and reached inside.  What was he about to show me?  An ancient artifact?  An arcane diagram or obscure book of wisdom?  Was he going to ask me to snatch a pebble from his hand?

What happened next is etched in my mind forever.  He pulled a ten-dollar bill out of the desk and handed it to me.  “Here,” he said.  “You go Fuddrucker.  Small hot dog, no fries.  Okay?”

It turned out that my Taekwondo master, despite his broken English, wasn’t the  Asian stereotype I thought he was.  He was just a very intelligent, skilled, dedicated and hard-working man who wanted some lunch.

I, on the other hand, was an idiot.

Allow situations to teach you, no matter how mundane, unexpected, funny or downright peculiar they may be.  Pay attention and you may learn something.

5 responses to “Pay Attention

  1. Reblogged this on D. M. Hutchins and commented:
    I am soooo guilty of this, myself. I look for epic and profound insight around every corner. The hardest thing I have ever began to learn is basic meditation. It was a WAR to still my mind for even a moment. Only after a long while have I discovered that the epic and profound are actually discovered in the stillness and silence, and not in the noise and searching. BEING is knowing. Discipline is self control. I hope to truly understand this more and more deeply.

    • Robert Mitchell

      I think you’d love my book! As soon as it’s out I’ll send you a coupon for a free download of the eBook version — I’d love to get a review.

  2. I would be honored to review your book, and I thank you for the free download, as I am not a wealthy man. Honor to you, Sir.

    • Robert Mitchell

      Here’s a coupon for a free download of the ebook:  DV23V It’s only good until midnight, so get it!

      Browse to the Smashwords website [ ] and enter the coupon code at checkout.  Let me know what you think!

      • D. M. Hutchins

        Let me tell you, there is a bit of a learning curve to the layout of Smashwords when you are coming from a background in Lulu. I had to create and verify an account, and then use the coupon, and then finally discovered the PDF download link, but I have it now, and I will report and review in the coming days. Thanks very much for the free copy, and the value of my opinion. Honor to you and yours.

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