Tuesday, February 7, 2012

FW: Perception​, taste and priorities

I do not like forwards and I never send them, but when my dad sends me a forward I know it is worth reading. My dad even checked to make sure it was a true story before sending it, which it is. There is even a YouTube video of it. I found this story extremely interesting, particularly the last question. Let me know what you think!

THE SITUATION: 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 thewall 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 ofthe most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theatre 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?

Enjoy life NOW… it has an expiration date


jules said...

Wow. That's an amazing story. A lesson I sure need to learn for sure.

Crystal said...

I could totally see this happening, too. Sometimes we get so caught up in the mundane aspects of our lives that we forget to "stop and smell the roses" or in this context, stop and listen to the music. I noticed the children all seemed to appreciate the beauty they were hearing, but the busy lives of adults could not be altered for long.
It is a good point to make. Although we have to go through the motions a lot of the time, taking in those moments of pure joy and wonderment make life that much more enjoyable.

Gwen said...

Beautiful story! And such a strong lesson that I know I need to take to heart myself. Thank you for sharing.

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

I've seen this one. I think there's even a photo of the man somewhere. It's quite sad, actually. We are all in such a rush.

Andrea said...

Wow!! That's pretty interesting. I definitely know I'm guilty of letting things go unnoticed during the thick of life. Thanks for sharing!

Maria said...

What a grea story and lesson for us all! I often remind myself to slow down and let my son lead the way. I have learned a lot from him and appreciate the innocence and curiosity of the little ones. Thanks for sharing.