Sunday, May 3, 2009

What's on Your MP3 Player?

Once upon a time, there was a woman who never went anywhere without wearing her MP3 player. She went to the mall, the grocery store, Walmart, the doctors and finally, the hair dresser. Her hair was growing long and shaggy and she really needed a trim but day after day, in she came with the headphones on, pacing like a jogger. She signed in, sat down and waited for the beautician to motion to her that it was her turn. The hairdresser asked her what kind of cut she wanted but the woman could not hear her, so she got up and ran out. This continued for weeks and until one day, the hairdresser decided that she had about all she could take.
She led the woman to the cutting station, sat her in the chair, cut most of her hair and then took the headphones off and reached for the MP3 player so she could finish the haircut. The lady argued and pulled on it struggling to gain control of it but the beautician with her skillful hands, stuffed the item in her apron and completed cutting the woman's hair in about three more minutes.
The woman got up, paid her cash and ran outside. She began to turn around and ask for her MP3 player but no sooner had she passed the threshold when she fell, dead in a heap on the sidewalk. The shop owner immediately dialed 911 but it was too late. The woman could not be revived.
"Who was the last person to speak to her?" Interrogated the police.
Everyone pointed to her hair dresser.
The hairdresser began to tell the story and suddenly realized she had the woman's MP3 player in her apron pocket. She pulled it out and handed it to the police who collected it as evidence.
The officer noticed that sound was coming from the headphones. He slipped them on his own head to listen for any possible clues.
He heard, "Breath in. Breathe Out. Breathe In. Breathe out...." He had discovered the cause of death.
While this public domain joke has been circulating for a long time, it has some relevance to the next story I am about to relate to you.
Jan Charles was a first time runner in a cross country race. She was competing against the pros but didn't mind because she was running for a cause. Unlike the others, she had signed up sponsors who would donate a sum of money to help pay for a cancer treatment for her friend's daughter. She needed inspiration, so she asked her friends to each make a thirty second recording on their computers to encourage her along the way. She downloaded them into a play list on her MP3 player and prepared herself for the race.
For most of the journey, she trailed behind but didn't seem to notice. She ran with vigor and stamina, building her endurance at a steady pace. As she listened to the recorded words, streaming into her headphones, she began to build speed until suddenly she broke into a steady but speedy run. The runners ahead, had long since abandoned their attention to her as they had surpassed her by several hundred feet. Jan simply listened to the recording:
"You can do it. Keep it going. Don't stop now. Faster! Faster! You're almost there. Come on, there you go, there you go..."
All of a sudden, it was as if a wind, a strong gust, pushed her forward until she was on the heels of the last runners. Surprised by this, the runners slowed and stared with gaping mouths, giving her a lead on them. Like Moses parting the Red Sea, she ran through the midst of them all and finally sprinted across the finish line-in first place.
While this story is somewhat corny and make believe, I hope it makes you think. Whether or not you are wearing an I-pod or an MP3 player, you are listening to thoughts, directions, and vital life-threatening or strengthening ideas. You have a choice to listen, ignore or change the play list.
What's on your MP3 player and what effect is it having on you?

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