Last night a few friends and I went to see the last night of the free “Music Without Borders” international music series at the Pritzker Pavilion. Hooray Chicago for inviting such wonderful musicians to play at the pleasure of the public.

I’d never really heard of any of the musicians, but I left the concert in awe.

The Gerardo Nunez Flamenco Ensemble, featuring Simon Shaheen and Nishat Khan were the players. They were all stellar, but Simon Shaheen just floored me. His mastery over the violin and the ‘oud was just remarkable. What craft!

Everyone in the crowd was lucky to be in the presence of greatness last night. We’re all better off for it.

It reminded me about the benefits of being in the presence of greatness. Whether it’s listening to a lecture from a great professor or speaker or reading a great book or watching a great athlete or sitting on a great chair having a great dinner on a great table with great friends, you always leave just a little greater yourself. Where else can just being there be so good for you?