Thursday, May 20, 2010

How Many Things Are We Missing As We Rush Through Life?

I received this in an email today and it gave me the most severe goosebumps I have ever had. To give credit where credit is due, I believe this came from the Washington Post. This really will make you stop and think.

. . . Something To Think About . . .


In Washington , DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in
2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes.
During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station,
most of them on their way to work. After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged
man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and
stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About 4 minutes later
The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat
and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At 6 minutes
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his
watch and started to walk again.

At 10 minutes
A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action
was repeated by several other children, but every parent - without
exception - forced their children to move on quickly.

At 45 minutes
The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal
pace. The man collected a total of $32.

After 1 hour
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one
applauded. There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest
musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever
written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before,
Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100
each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro
Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social
experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.

This experiment raised several questions:

*In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we
perceive beauty?

*If so, do we stop to appreciate it?

*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians
in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of
the most beautiful instruments ever made . . .

How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?

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