I would be a listener
Arrived by email today...
What did you miss today?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 the wall 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 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 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?One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:
*If so, do we stop to appreciate it?
*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?
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
We are like the spider. We weave our life and then move along in it.
We are like the dreamer who dreams and then lives in the dream.
This is true for the entire universe.
I would be a listener
This story brought tears to my eyes. Beautiful!! Reminds me to pay more attention. Thank you for posting!
I would've stopped and listened to, but then again I don't live in a city that crowded.
When I go to Washington DC, there are always musicians around the Smithsonian, between the Washington Monument and the Capitol Building too. I always stop and check them out. They apparently make a lot more money there than on the metro, because one guy beating on a bunch of plastic buckets had a bucket full of bills. Another guy playing saxophone told me that he worked in the building next to us, and that he played his sax on breaks and made as much money as his job paid him for a whole day, easily. Probably all tourists giving them money. I guess location is key.
I will admit that I would have missed it.
Most likely because I avoid crowds and busy places. But if I had been there, I would have been concentrating on getting where I was going in order to block out all the swirling emotions that happen in busy places. Music is intensely emotional.
For the most part, I find people confusing. What they say usually does not match with what they are feeling or thinking. So, it is like having 2 or 3 different people talking at you all at once. Then when you get in a crowd that is going in so many different directions, it's overwhelming.
However, in the stillness there is much to hear that many miss.
I try to perceive beauty. I think people get accustomed to their routines when in a familiar place. However, I always find it interesting to look at where you are in the same way people usually do when they are travelling. When going to a new city I always seem to notice the architecture more, and try to emulate that kind of observance when I am in familiar places, but too, I think we live in our minds so much we do miss out on what's happening around us quite often.
Maybe in those moments when we do pay closer attention, it has more impact because it's not so frequent. We realize and remember how great it is to be present because it often eludes us generally.
Depending on what I was doing I may have missed out, I admit, however, usually music draws me in quite easily. I love going to small taverns where a band is playing in an intimate setting. I've gone to large concerts and there just isn't that same vibe. The crowd, the spectacle of it loses something. I think smaller spaces have more impact. In a busy city or location I think it's possible to carve out that small space with our attention and observe something with more presence, giving it that intimacy small spaces offer.
I just had an interesting thought... I think our minds do have to pick and choose what to focus on though. What if I were paying attention to the performance but missed out on the artist 50 feet away doing fantastic art, would I be considered to not be present and missing out? How much can we attend our minds to to be considered present?
The Meaning of Life is to Eat the Apple - Me
Wisdom comes from asking questions
Nothing really matters, love is all we need. - Madonna
I predict the weather will be unpredictable this year - Sylvia Browne
An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind - Gandhi
If it doesn't make sense, it's usually not true. - Judge Judy
I love this ! Have seen it several times and it really sends the message home , thanks for sharing !
Do we notice beauty in usual places at uncommon hours.
Obviously, usual places are crowded with beauty. Did you see the women wearing the latest fashion? Did you see the man with the 100 dollar coat? Did you see the girl who just got an A on her exam and is overly joyful? This is usual life in America. Thus there is beauty in common places.
If there is beauty in common places and it is widely recognized and accepted, then why did the newspaper ask the question? Newspapers are usually up to date on what's going on in the world. They must have been out to prove something, or make a point, or highlight an anomaly of our world.
Very learned beauty, (also, what is most special to a person) takes time to cultivate. Learned beauty is when someone takes something that is most special to himself and practices and practices it exposing himself to the ridicule of the world in the time being. Who would want to expose their most vulnerable parts? Indeed, it is a BRAVE thing to do.
To say, this is the essence of me, and I am giving it to you says something. Perhaps this is a higher ideal in the universe and so most people on earth are afraid of such occurances. They are afraid because they know there is something burning inside them keeping them alive but they have not actually taken the time to learn what it is in earthly time, in the time of their day to day cycle, thus bringing something seemingly holy into the reality of our world. I believe our world is based upon such structures. And if everybody knew and immersed themselves in their love, and letting people experience this gift, our world would be much different and a lot more powerful. Power comes from true essence and this is what God is.
The very learned man practicing his art in the form that a begger would lets himself experience different aspects of the universe. All rolls are true, some people very much though work upon enlightenment. Som do we notice THIS kind of beauty in a usual place at an odd hour... perhaps not. Perhaps this type of beauty is as humble as the beggar. As humble as the roaming prophet. As humble as the inspired inventer working for the good of humankind.
And so not all extreme beauties are recognized due to lack of desire collectively to recognize ones own beauty and or strength.
I think we adapt to our environment so as to survive the self at the highest potential possible, all things considered. As such I think someone like myself, one who is not use to the chaos of city life, would have stopped to listen and, given the prolonged concert in that environment, would have sat down so as to relax and enjoy on the same side as Joshua, so as to avoid the distraction of people passing by and in between our two points. Whereas those who are rushed, because they're use to the fast paced self-centered myopic rhythm of the big city, would do as described. Focus on that moment in front of them, wherein they are possessed with a sole purpose. Transportation to the next point. Contrary to the esoteric context of the question, I think we all are always living in the moment. Whatever it is we are focused on, that may cause us to miss what's happening on the periphery, is due to our priority for self. While the subconscious records everything we may think we miss by not stopping and focusing our senses on it specifically. So really, we're not missing anything. We, in some capacity due to our conscious or subconscious receptors, are at all times taking in our environment and everything that is part of it.
Hi Im new but really like this thread. I often miss the meaningful unexpected moments because my habit is more to see on a superficial level, rather than looking for deeper and more significant subtle signals. How can i practice zoning in on each moment and seeing with fresh eyes? Maybe gratitude for each moment that comes and for each situation i find myself in, is a start.
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