Friday, January 30, 2009

Ears To Hear?

Someone sent me this story this morning. I thought you might like to see it. . . .
"A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC
and started to play the violin.
It was a cold January morning.

He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes.

During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station,

most of them on their way to work.


Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing.

He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.


A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip:

a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping,

continued to walk.

A few minutes later,

someone leaned against the wall to listen to him,

but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again.

Clearly he was late for work.

***The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy.

His mother tagged him along, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist.

Finally the mother pushed hard

and the child continued to walk

turning his head all the time.


This action was repeated by several other children.

All the parents,

without exception, forced them to move on.

***In the 45 minutes the musician played,

only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while.

About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace.

*** He collected $32.

When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it.

No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.


No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell,

one of the best 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 his playing in the subway,

Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston

and the seats average $100 each.


This is a real story.

Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station

was organized

by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people.


The outlines were:

in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour.

Do we perceive beauty?

Do we stop to appreciate it?

Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?


One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop

and listen

to one of the best musicians in the world

playing the best music

ever written,

how many other things are we missing?"

Thought provoking, no?



Lynette said...

Sjoe, that is many things do we miss just because of being to busy!

Rambler said...

That's amazing - it's also a good comment on our social perceptions - something is better if we are told it is, and if it carries a good price... we miss out on so much because we believe what we're told...

Ordinarylife said...

I heard about this. I wonder how much else beauty and splendour we miss just because we are busy or carrying on with our lives to look around!

Frank J said...

That's almost funny, 'cause I'm just about to post about seeing the little things we'd normally miss.

What's that they say about great minds ;0)

Deon said...

Very thought provoking.....