Saturday, September 19, 2009

Perception . . .

Perception . . .
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.
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 $32.00.
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?

Have a wonderful Saturday!
Take time to see the beauty around you!


Patsy said...

Makes one stop and think about our self. Great post.

Elena said...

That is an awesome post! It really makes you think.

Kari said...

Wow! I'd never heard that story before. Great lesson to take to heart!