She is her father’s daughter. Seeing the van on Thursday, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a picture. Of course, the next step was to forward the picture in my direction. She knew I would take the bait and intuitively be hooked by the message. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. That was certainly true of this one.
Not only was this one thoughtfully done, but the scripted message crafted in the picture was attention getting as well. It pictured a golfer saying to his two buddies: “Windy isn’t it?” The second golfer responds: “No, it’s Thursday”. The third golfer replies: “So am I, let’s have a beer”. The words work to represent great advertisement for a local hearing aid company. The company name imprinted on the back of the van is entitled: “Hears to You”.
I know, even if you had the good fortune or the misfortune of being brought up Baptist, the term: “Hears to you” sounds like the script for a toast. But in reality, it is more than that. Like I said: “The advertising is thoughtfully done”. The company identified themselves as: “Mobile Audiology Experts”. When it comes to hearing, who can minimize the importance of the gift of sound?
I can’t begin to imagine life without some level of the gift of hearing. I say that knowing full well that my hearing ability is far from being as keen as it once was, but I still have the ability to hear. Give me free reign over the volume control on the television or radio and I won’t have a problem. Let me say clearly that the General would discourage that offering. The General and I have more conflict over volume control than we have conflict over anything else. I selfishly think she could be wearing ear plugs to muffle the sound if she thinks it too loud. I don’t have a choice. I play it loud or I miss part of it. Sometimes, I think the General doesn’t have a full understanding of what it feels like not being able to decipher the words.
For almost seven decades, I’ve lived with the sense of auditory processing that enhances communication and is filled with word pictures that make communication meaningful and impactful. Can you even begin to imagine what life without sound would feel like? Even though mine is somewhat impaired, it still works.
There are days when I’m at work that I opt to play the Pachelbel Canon in D Major throughout the day. The music composed by Johann Pachelbel strikes a chord with me. I simply select “repeat” on my iPod and the sound recycles over and over. I never grow weary with the music. I find the sound calming and a source of inward delight.
There are others who maintain that the gift of smell is the greatest gift. You can catch a whiff of freshly baked bread and find yourself momentarily back in the presence of your grandmother who spent hours preparing such a delicacy for her family.
My paternal grandmother, (I called her Granny), always made enough fresh bread when she opted to bake. When she baked, she baked enough to share with her extended family. My dad and his brother both lived next door to their parents. One was on the West side, the other on the East. When Granny baked bread, she baked a lot of bread. Consequently, we frequently were blessed with homemade rolls.
The ability to smell can trigger memories that immediately transport one back in time. It is described as “odor-evoked autobiographical memory”. In his novel, In Search of Lost Time, Marcel Proust, a French writer, dips a madeleine cookie into a cup of tea and is transported back into time as long forgotten memories of his childhood resurface and fill his thoughts.
Have you ever given thought to which of the five senses carries the most importance? Most of us come hard wired for the development of five senses. The senses include: touch, taste, sight, smell, and hearing. Many think the gift of hearing is the most difficult sense to live without. Others would argue that sight has to top the list. How would you even begin to describe the beauty of a sunrise or sunset to a person born with impaired vision? Where would they find a frame of reference to cognitively process the information?
For that matter, the gift of touch is a lifeline. Babies who are not held, nuzzled, and nurtured with touch fail to thrive. A hundred years ago, most infants placed in orphanages didn’t survive. Infant mortality was the norm. Literally, babies died from lack of touch.
Even in the midst of adulthood, who doesn’t need the sensation of touch? An occasional hug is good medicine. Where I go to church, our benediction always includes the congregation holding hands and singing: “Bless Be The Tie That Binds”. We purposefully do that because touch is important.
Even fleeting contact with a stranger can make a positive impact. In 1976, researchers set up a system where clerks at a university library returned library cards to students either with or without briefly touching the student’s hands. As the students exited the library, they were asked to complete a brief satisfaction survey. Those who had been briefly touched rated the experience higher than those who had not been touched. Incidentally, similar studies have revealed that waitresses or waiters in restaurants who briefly touch the person they are serving received a higher percentage in tip.
So which of our five senses is most important. We could probably all cast a vote and have a myriad of different answers. It was the gift of sight that motivated my daughter to take the picture of the back of the van. Andrea and Kevin were on their way to their way to Austin Bergstrom International Airport. They had Los Vegas on their minds. They weren’t headed to the roulette wheel or the one-arm bandit. It was actually a business trip, but they did have tickets to a George Strait concert.
When Andrea sent me the picture of the three golfers, I told her I’d probably include it in a blog with the notation that they missed their flight. Do you remember the image? It pictured a golfer saying to his two buddies: “Windy isn’t it?” The second golfer responds: “No, it’s Thursday”. The third golfer replies: “So am I, let’s have a beer”. Thought I’d say the power of suggestion made them lose track and they stopped for a beverage. Of course, none of that is true, but it is one way to say “Hears to you”.
Apple Computer, Inc.
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