This morning, while busking at the Courthouse metro in Arlington, VA, I had a homeless guy give me a dollar.

Now, I’ve had this internal struggle before. “Am I worth this?” “Do I deserve this?”, “is this fair?” and “what makes me so fucking special??”. And then I get emails, texts, tweets, and hugs from strangers thanking me for what I do.

This morning was no different.

Believe me, I tried to give it back – but upon talking with the gentleman, I realized that giving it back would have been the most unfair.

He was giving me a gift, in return for what I was giving him. And what was that, exactly?

“Your music makes me calm”, he said. “It makes me feel normal… like everything is okay, and is going to BE okay. You’re blessed with a gift, and I’m blessed that you’ve shared it with me”.

Then he gave me a high five, and walked off.


2 thoughts on “Humbled

  1. Wow, what an uplifting story. Thanks for sharing this.

    I have recently started busking (in addition to playing “normal” gigs) and am really enjoying it, for a lot of reasons that go beyond the scope of this reply. And I’ve also experienced some overwhelmingly positive responses from people, not just in monetary terms.

    Once, as I was packing up my stuff to leave after playing near a cafe for about an hour, a waitress came out to me and gave me some lottery tickets! She said that it was her first day back after a holiday, and she had a bad case of “back-to-work-blues”. But the music I played had made her feel so much better. She said she didn’t have any money to give me, but she had these lottery tickets and she wanted me to have them. I said I didn’t need anything and that I was just happy she enjoyed the music, but she insisted.

    Needless to say, I didn’t win the lottery (but I promised myself I’d go back and share my winnings if I had). These kind of moments really shine.



    1. That’s awesome, Michael. I totally agree – it’s such a spiritually, emotionally, and socially rewarding job. Theres nothing better than helping people to smile through music!


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