I was intrigued by the old cowboy. He stood underneath the shade of a large oak tree on a sidewalk in the Fort Worth Stockyards willingly receiving five dollar bills from moms and dads, grandmas and granddads so that their kiddos could sit for a moment on the back of a long-retired longhorn steer. What followed was two minutes of smiles, laughter, waving and cameras clicking capturing the joy on the faces of these young ‘uns. A splendid time was had by all.
I did the math.
$5 every two minutes. That’s $150 an hour.
A remarkable moment in my favorite movie “Field of Dreams” is the soliloquy from the brilliant actor James Earl Jones:
“Ray, people will come, Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won’t mind if you look around, you’ll say. It’s only $20 per person. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they’ll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come, Ray…”
When you meet a need, when you offer hope, when you touch people emotionally it can trigger people to seek you out again and again and again.
And the two minutes it took you to read this didn’t even cost you $5.
Now, go make great radio!