Ladies and Gentlemen. The Stanford Marching Band.


Sometimes it’s the smallest things that can give your mood a lift.

So here’s a suggestion.

I’m reasonably confident that as you go about the coming day you’ll come across something a little out of the ordinary.

It might be a tiny bird perched where you’d normally not expect it.

It could be a new building suddenly sprouting up, or fresh flowers somewhere new.

So when you spot this kind of thing, stop.

If you’re carrying something, put it down.

If you’re driving (and it’s safe) pull over.

Then just pay attention.

Enjoy the novelty and newness.

Shut out whatever you were thinking about before, especially if it was something unimportant.

Double-especially if it was something unhappy.

Then give yourself a few minutes to simply focus on this new thing that wasn’t there yesterday, and may not be tomorrow.

Last week I left the Stanford University library at 10 pm after another long day.

I was tired, ready to go home and get to bed.

But as the door closed behind me, I was delighted to hear, and then see, the Stanford Marching Band.

They’re a raggle-taggle bunch of high-spirited (and actually highly accomplished) musicians who perform at university sporting events.

I guess they were making their way back across campus after a sporting fixture of some kind.

Some had coloured lights on their instruments, and they played as they marched.

To an audience of…


Spectacular, and a complete gift.

I put my bags down and watched through the semi-darkness with a wide grin on my face, then walked back to the car with real spring in my step.

You’re probably not going to come across the Stanford Marching Band today (although if you do, please tell them I said hello) but I’d put money on there being something or other that’s different on your path through the next 24-hours.

So please, stop and pay attention.

It’ll be good for you, I promise.

2 thoughts on “Ladies and Gentlemen. The Stanford Marching Band.

  1. Great post. I have to admit it’s all too infrequent that I stop and really listen/ see/ smell/ and otherwise enjoy the small gifts of everyday life. Thanks for the reminder.

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