Today I just wanted to share with you this inspiring story:
A man sat in Washington DC station and began playing the violin. It was a cold morning in January. He played 6 music pieces by Bach for about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, as it was a rush hour, it was estimated that several thousand people had passed through the station, mostly on their way to work.
After 3 min, a middle-aged man noticed the musician was playing. He slowed down for a few seconds, then accelerated to make up for lost time.
1 minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: one woman threw some cash, without stopping and continued walking.
A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen, but looked at his watch and left. He was obviously late for work.
A 3 year old boy was the only one who gave heed. His mother dragged, hurried, but the boy stopped to look at the violinist.
Finally the mother dragged him even more and the child continued walking, looking all the time behind him. This action was repeated by several other children. All parents, without exception, forced them to move forward.
During the 45 minutes when the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stood for a moment. About 20 people gave him money, but continued to walk normally.
He received $32. When he stopped playing and silence resumed, no one noticed. No one applauded or showed a sign of recognition.
Nobody knew the violinist Joshua Bell was one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most difficult music pieces ever written, with a violin worth 3.5 million.
2 days before playing at the station, he played sold-out in a theater in Boston, where the seats had been sold on average $100 each.
This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the train station was part of an experiment organized by the Washington Post, on people's perception, taste and priorities.
The questions were: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?
One possible conclusion to such an experiment could be this: If we do not have time to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things do we miss?