Sunday, April 04, 2010

Something to think about.....

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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:





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





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.





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.





1 hour:





He 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.



The questions raised:



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



*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?

Happy Easter!

If you'd like to view the You Tube video so you can hear and see this experiment - here it is:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnOPu0_YWhw      Thanks to  Michele for providing it!



21 comments:

Bea said...

Happy Easter to you too. I hope your day is filled with calorie free chocolate bunnies. :)Bea

Terri Kahrs said...

What a GREAT post, Trudi! As I read this post, (without knowing the ending), I was horrified to think that someone was sharing his soul and no one appreciated it. I loved hearing about the child who kept trying to stop his mother - through the eyes and heart of a child. Happy Easter, My Friend! Terri xoxo

Emily@theNest said...

I read this before, and it made me pause all over again... thank you! Have been reading through the past few months of blogposts and would love to comment on each of them, they are really so lovely and inspiring. adding you to my blog feed and loking forward to another few months of delights!! happy Easter!

Cath Wilson said...

Really makes you examine yourself, doesn't it? And it's so true if we aren't looking out for the beauty of the moment, we often miss it. I always look for the cloud formations during rainfall - they are often so fabulous that they make it worth putting up with the rain - a silver lining in every cloud? Thank you for this and Happy Easter to you, too!

Kim Palmer said...

Indeed something to think about, and what does it say about us and our society! Not much that seems positive I guess. There is much to be said for a quieter pace of life, one in which we pause or stop to enjoy moments, allowing ourselves to be touched. Great post Trudi!

Healing Woman said...

Very unfortunate for our society but true. We are moving too fast. No time for anything but rush to here and there. I personally must learn to slow down. But, what do I give up in doing so? I will ponder this post for a long time..as I rush on in my daily life.

I do thank you for making me pause to think.

Anji Johnston said...

What a fantastic post - really got me thinking. My son is studying music at college and he sent me a demo today of his latest song. I thought it was amazing (because I am his mum?!) and was wondering to myself if anyone would ever hear it except me and what a waste that would be. Food for thought...
Thanks for this!

Debby said...

Happy Easter Trudi. Fabulous post, so sad we don't have time to stop and listen.
Hugs,
debby

quinncreative said...

This is the life of an artist. The people who paid a lot for their ticket to listen to him knew he was worth it. The people on their way to work in the morning were in a hurry to get to their job, didn't know much about music, and didn't recognize him. I'll bet if Sandra Bullock played a kazoo at Farragut North, a zillion people would have thought it was wonderful. Proving once again that perception is not reality. Your perception, however, is your reality. Which is much scarier.

Lorraine @ creativedaily said...

Fantastic post Trudi! This really makes you think doesn't it!?

Linda said...

What a great post. I have read this before and it is amazing. We really do need to take a little more time to smell the roses.
Thanks for the great post!

Michele said...

Happy Easter!

You can watch this here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnOPu0_YWhw

Michele

bad penny said...

popped over from Penny's blog - I think people are embarrassed like they are to stop & help when a stranger falls etc... we need to stop once in a while ! Interesting experiment

Tumble Fish Studio said...

Outstanding post that I plan to share on my blog too. Profound in so many ways. It certainly made me pause. Thank you for sharing this!

Marilyn said...

Sad but true!

bockel24 said...

You´re so right, Trudi - thank you for this great post! I´ve once seen the fiddler of the famous Scottish "Battlefield Band" playing solo in the streets of M√ľnster (I know that his grandma lived here, so probably he was here to visit her), and nobody stopped though he played really well. Fame and knowing about it seems to be important for people to decide if they like music - some of the Russian string quartets playing in the streets are REALLY fabulous but don´t get much interest or money. A former partner has occasionally played the bagpipes in the streets, so I´ve had many opportunities to watch people stopping, listening, giving money, or just rushing on. In fact those who give money almost never stop for more than half a minute, don´t know why ...

Seth said...

A surprising and pretty amaqzing story. It definitely makes you think!

Seth said...

A surprising and pretty amazing story. It definitely makes you think!

Frances said...

What an amazing story .... leaves me feeling sad for all those times I have been too busy to stop and enjoy beauty ... and leaves me feeling hopeful that I will be more watchful in the future. Thank you so much for sharing.

Tobi Britton*pinkpixieforest.blogspot.com said...

Wow!
I couldn't hurry past this post and not stop to thank you for reminding me of the beauty in every moment!
Have a beauty filled weekend!
Sparkly hugs,
Tobi and the Pixies!

betsy said...

Thanks for sharing this wonderful story. Sorry it took me so long to see, so I will say Happy Spring!