The Busker

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September 24, 2007
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Here is a beautiful true story written by Margaret Leigh of Australia. She really captured the essence of buskers’ philosophy:

The Busker by Margaret Leigh (printed with permission)

A story I wrote about a man I used to see on my way to and from work each day. Some people can make an impact on your life without ever speaking to you.

It is a strange thing in life, that often, the people who have the most impact on our lives are those we never know. Their faces may become familiar to us, we may see them often, and yet never know their names.

There is a person in my life whose name I don’t know and may not ever know, yet he has touched my life in ways that, whilst I am aware of them, are hard to explain.

Intangibles. A smile, a greeting. A song.

He is a busker who works a patch near the station in the city where I take the train to get home from work. I see him probably three or four times a week. Always on his little patch, strumming his guitar, singing songs and always with a smile and a friendly greeting for passers by.

When I can, I offer him a coin or two as a token of my appreciation. When money is tight I try to convey my gratitude in smiles and hello’s.

I can’t number the days when seeing his face, hearing his voice has made a difference. I can, and do notice strongly, the days when he is not there. (not often.)

He brings a love and a delight in what he does to all who see him. He has a sign in his guitar case which states his simple philosphy. “The best way to be happy is to make someone smile.” He must be a very happy man because I have never seen anyone who didn’t smile when they see him.

Some people, the uncharitable might say he should get a ‘real’ job. Not me. As far as I am concerned he has a job, and it is obvious that he thinks so too.

He’s a busker, and there can probably be no better job for him. I know the world would be a darker place without him there, singing his little songs and smiling his happy smiles.

He has a job. His job description is Joy giver. There is not any job more ‘real’ on this earth nor any more necessary.

And all I can say is, Thank You. I don’t know your name. But I know I am glad I ‘met’ you.

Subway Performer
Subway Performer” by Enrico Thomas


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