In Washington, DC, at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, a man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes.
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.
At 45 minutes, the musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while.
After 1 hour, he finished playing and silence took over.
No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world.
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?
*If so, 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? And, what are the consequences of rushing thru life?