Thursday, November 05, 2009

Please Stop , You Might Be Missing Something

Life does not have to be more complicated than it was years ago. We make life more complicated by our demands and needs. Once the basics for life shelter, food and water are met, then you've got friends and family (and yeah, family can complicate things). It's all the other stuff that makes life zip past us in a flash.

I believe in enjoying the moment, and will stop in a heartbeat for a great laugh, appreciate an amazing sunset or climb a tree. When my boys recognize a beautiful flower or a dragon shaped cloud, I beam with pride because I do not want them lost in the world of headphones, cellphones, and looking at the ground as you walk around all day.

Here is a story I recently found:


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 approximately. 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.

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.

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?

Take time today and just stop.

What did you find today?


Stevie said...

I see this happen in Seattle when I go. There are so many street musicians and performers and no one just stops to listen or watch. I watched a street performer as long as I possibly could just because I thought he was amazing. Things like that make me have to stop to appreciate it. Josh hates it sometimes, but I think it's a quirk of our family!

david b mclaughlin said...

great post!

Angie Weid said...

@Stevie - Quirk or not, life's too short to make someone's day. Keep passing those happy vibes to strangers!

@David - Thank you for your compliment! Glad you enjoyed my post. Enjoy the day!