Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Something to think about!

I got this email from my mom today- it included a picture of the violinist but it didn't copy over. The snopes link is at the bottom- it is true!


. . . Something To Think About.. . .

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?

I also think (me, Tracey) that so many of the people rushed by or hustled their kids on by because they thought Joshua was homeless, or a bum.  How quick we are to judge! I wish I would have heard him. What a treat that would have been!


Sharlotte said...

This is very interesting and I have seen something similar in action. In 1982 I seen a television actress out in public at an iceskating rink. My sister and I knew who she was because we watched the show everyweek. It was odd that there were so many people just skating along that had no clue that she was even there. No too long ago , the guy that played the older brother Buzz in the Home Alone movies had gotten into the cab on the T.V. show Cash Cab. He played along and then got out. The "host" of the show, Ben Bailey , had no idea who he was. I guess it's the not expecting to see well know people of their "element" that lets them go un-noticed. We are just too wrapped up in other things. Funny how that works, but sad in a way.Thanks for sharing.

Parsley said...

Oooo, that is quite a post. I think we miss out on so much because of the hustle and bustle of life, and maybe fear of strangers. Thank you for opening our eyes.

Babs said...

Oh, this is good, Tracey, and says a lot about us, doesn't it? I've been in such a reflective, thoughtful, facing a new year mood that this really touched my heart. One more thing to consider...
thank you,

Micki said...

That was so interesting. I would have stopped and listened, as I love music and studied the piano. I think most people would not notice.

Catherine said...

Thank you so much for sharing this story. It's a great reminder to slow down, take time and smell the roses! I really hate to think of how much I may have missed when my life gets hectic!

dixiesamplar said...

Very thought provoking Tracey, thank you for sharing it with us! What a shame that those people missed out on such a wonderful experience...and why don't we pay more attention to the our children's reactions...they have such open, non-judgemental minds!! They saw it for what it was...a beautiful moment and experience to be enjoyed!


Myra said...

All I can say is WOW! I wish I had been there too.

(My word verificaton is "bless")

lenna said...

I'm with you I would have stopped and listened and been sad when he had finished.
I love violin music and what a treat that would have been.
What a great story.
I also like your finish. It is so cute.
God Bless ~

Two more great books!

No new stitching progress as these two books have had me wrapped up- two more that I did not want to put down! Received this from NetGall...