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Friday, July 22, 2011

Excelling in the Little Things...

I'm reminded that the most significant things sometimes do not come in broad sweeps and grand gestures.  In my line of work, I meet a varied group of people with different complaints.  I sometimes get surprised to get feedback on what people valued most.  Not for the what seems to me as the most significant - the dramatic saves, the successful resuscitation.

No, not those...

It's in the little things that I thought were trivial.  Those were apparently what matters to people.  They tell me that they appreciate it if someone takes time to listen to them.  It comforts and reassures them.  Occasionally, they say that one's presence is enough to make them feel better.

And I feel guilty since during those moments, from head up, I look pleasant, agreeable, smiling.  Underneath the table, my hands are clenched and I am tying my writing pad into knots.

Little things, not grand gestures.

Like Madame Valentina Lisitsa.  This is her fourth encore.  After playing Rachmaninoff powerhouse pieces, she settles down and starts playing the first bars of Fur Elise.  The audience is amused, and a wave of soft laughter spreads.  This, after all, is a piece played by five-year-olds at piano recitals.  She continues playing, her fingers lightly caressing the keys while the audience sits in rapt silence.  After her performance, appreciative applause rings out.

It takes an artist to make something simple sound profound and meaningful - and this is exactly what she did.

Brava, Ms. Lisitsa!


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