"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 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, hurried 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 averaged $100.
Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an 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?"
Read the entire story here Pearls Before Breakfast
This really got me thinking today. Life is made up of lots of moments and if those moments just speed by us, well are we really living our life to the fullest? Don't worry, i am certainly not getting all zen-like and philosophical on you all. It's just not me. But, again this made me think today and I really groove on that.
You can't wake a person who is pretending to be asleep. ~Navajo Proverb
I will tell you this though. I am 100% sure I would have stopped at least for a moment to take in the music and marvel at how great Joshua Bell is. This is totally not my kind of music. I believe I have one classical piece on my iPod and thats just because it was one of the free downloads of the week.
Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet. ~Roger Miller
It's not so much the music as the moment it was creating. So, I think it would be great to create moments in your life. I don't give a hoot what that moment is. Just moments that can be held on to and remembered is all.
The obscure we see eventually. The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer. ~Edward R. Murrow
Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop. ~Lewis Carrol, Alice in Wonderland
Knock on the sky and listen to the sound. ~Zen Saying
Tomorrow, i am back to being silly! Today, this seemed to call to me. So, what would you do to create a moment?? Would you have stopped to listen to the music? What do you think you are missing by not stopping once in a while???
The Universe told me today:
Hunches, instincts, and intuition are priceless, Michelle, because they throw you into action.
They do throw you into action, right Michelle??