>> Wednesday, June 15, 2011
I stumbled upon this interesting article here and it got me thinking. In Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule. 4 minutes later: The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk. 6 minutes went by: 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 all the time. This action was repeated by several other children.. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly. At 45 minutes: The musician was playing 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. 1 hour hits and the man finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.
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. This is a true 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 people's priorities. (Again, the full article from the Washington Post can be found here.)
The questions raised in my mind:
*During an average day, at a normal hour, do we see the beauty of the moment?
*Do we stop to appreciate it?
*Do we recognize talent?
*What are my priorities? (What are your priorities?)
*Why have we made life so fast that we are always rushing?
*Maybe there is more to learn from children than we think.
After MUCH thought on this article, I've concluded: 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?
I hope and pray that I am in a state of mind that if I were there, I would have stopped to listen and appreciate the moment and peace. I would have thrown money and smiled and let the music touch my soul for the rest of my day. It makes me sad that so many rushed on with out even noticing. It makes me deeply concerned that so many did that, and still do this. I do admit this story has made me thinking......a lot about myself, others and even about my day today. The hustling through the grocery store with two cranky, not wanting to be at the store boys. Then our trip to the library and sighing when they needed help on the computer. I reflected on our afternoon when we finally got home and how frustrated I got with them for not getting along. Did I stop to listen to the beauty of my children. Did I hear their music? No, I too was blinded but I willl stop tomorrow and thereafter to listen, to smile, to play and avert my attention to them. They are MY famous musicians, playing rare intruments, making amazing music.