Busker Pete

It is busker week in Halifax, thousands descend on this port city and stroll the waterfront to enjoy dozens of street performers who make their living by wowing audiences and inspiring donations.

Buskers have become more sophisticated over the years with sound systems and bleachers and lighting for better night time viewing. They also have figured out a good way to get volunteers from the audience to join them on stage. They ask family members to volunteer each other. No sooner had my 12 year old nephew put up my hand then I found myself skipping around in front of 700 people and standing with 5 other mates who had also been “volunteered” by eager and delighted family members.

The late great artist Andy Warhol once predicted that everyone will have 15 minutes of fame in their lifetime. I guess my moment of glory was to join the troupe in the Daredevil Chicken show. We were brought up to center stage, dressed in pink tutus and were then put through our clumsy warm up routine in preparation for the buskers grand finale. Our moment in the sun was to hold the rope supporting the tight rope where the busker does his grand finale by balancing on one foot 6 feet in the air while juggling two knives and, of course, a rubber chicken.

It was a foolish and skilled finale. What delight these buskers bring to the faces of adults and children alike. They have a definite talent for being crazy and fun loving. How wonderful we live in a society where people have the freedom and imagination to express their talents on our city streets and otherwise. While I don’t profess to be the best tutu wearing rope holder in the world, the experience did give me pause to think about the whole idea of everyone’s unique gift to the world.

It’s all good that we encourage children to develop music or sports interests or other gifts that reflect their personality. But I wonder how much we spend celebrating our talents as adults. I invite you to take a minute right now to think about your unique talent, gift or offering. What would you love to or are you now sharing with the world to make it a better place? What talent of yours makes you unique? How is it known to others, how do you share? The next time you express your talent make sure to give yourself a pat on the back or drop a coin in your own hat as a small way to give yourself thanks for being you


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