By Flavia Ventura
I am not religious, I never was. Without faith life can be scary, reason why I made myself believe in signs, signs that shape decisions, state of minds, opportunities.
On Thursday, as for every morning, I put my headphones on and started my daily walk towards Brixton. What made this morning different is my stumbling upon old Italian music, the kind only your parents would independently decide to listen to. On a different day I would have skipped it but not that day, I listened to it, again, and again, on repeat. Singing the popular Napolitan songs and really listening to the lyrics for the first time. It’s shocking how we subconsciously only start listening and understanding a song when feeling the same way as the singer.
When I got to school, for the first time since September, I wasn’t that enthusiast to be in, I wish I could have kept performing my bad singing for a bit longer. While I was still absorbed in my thoughts, David Pearl started his talk. He begins by singing the very same Napolitan song I was listening to just few minutes before. Just like that he has my full attention.
Strangely enough, his talk happens to cover a series of topics I had been trying to put into words for a long time. Not rocket science, very simple. Mr. Pearl was in fact able to explain some of the hardest and most haunting questions known by men in the simplest of ways.
He proceeds by having us draw the line of our lives, with all its ups and downs. Given one of the axes is time, what is the other axe dictated by? Easy I think to myself; happiness DUHH. Then I really start thinking about it. What is my happiness caused by? I look at the diagram in front of me and realize all the ups on my line are dictated by random, external factors; a new opportunity, moves, firsts, boyfriends. Surely I am not one to only being happy when something exciting happens, right?
The second part of the day is all about ‘Street Wisdom’. Getting out and really observing our surroundings, being drawn to what attract us, see beauty in all things, and finally find the answers to our questions in the environment around us.
I found myself really thinking of what each object or person I see means to me, why was I more attracted to trees, flowers, wind? One of the most valuable learnings I took from Mr. Pearl’s lecture is that meaning is different for each one of us; people both give different meanings and see different meanings. Street wisdom made me realize that too often I follow my goal without really thinking, I don’t seem to care about how I feel while pursuing it. I feel very much like a blinded race horse, running towards the finishing line without realising what is happening around me.