Saturday, December 18

What are you missing?

My sister sent me this email- a true story from 2007. It goes as follows and is worth posting :

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 theatre 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?
*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 as we rush through life?

SUCH a great story, and mostly because it IS true. How many times do people pass a busker? At very least whenever I pass someone playing music -or even people begging- I always try to make eye contact and smile. But do I MAKE time to listen to the music, wait and enjoy- appreciate and thank someone for offering it? I can't honestly recall the last time I passed someone playing music- it has been some time. I don't get out much LOL... But I have to confess I definitely get wrapped up in the GOING SOMEWHERE and DOING SOMETHING and the RUSH RUSH RUSH. I miss things sometimes.

I like that kids stopped to listen. Kids don't have any concept of a schedule, or time restrictions, or rushing. Yesterday at work a dad was there with his 2 kids, Christmas shopping. I would think his kids were oh, two and four. 2 yr old boy was in the basket whining, crying, fussing and kicking his boots off while dad was getting really frustrated. Daughter was flailing around but he wanted her to get her jacket on. Dad was trying to instruct both kids at once, picking up boots, while another boot flew off. Not having a great time, really, although I found it really amusing. I looked in their cart and saw a pink scarf labelled JULIA. So I asked Julia by name, if she wanted help with her jacket. She looked at me, like why do you know my name?! I said your scarf says your name is Julia, need some help?! One arm at a time we got her plugged into her jacket and she declared quickly that she could do it up herself. Back away, lady! LOL... Meanwhile the boy, who was 2 seconds ago whining and fussing about his boots, was now laughing and giggling at dad's frustration. Dad sighed loudly, and says, oh NOW you're going to be cute?! ROFL. He turns to his daughter- are you ready yet, because your brother is going outside without boots on, how about you, where are you at? Nope, not ready, she says, I'm still dressing- as she slowly pulls on her toque, gets her scarf from the cart and carefully ties it under her chin, finally pulls her jacket hood up and announces they can go now. Dad grits his teeth in a fake smile and turns to me, Merry Christmas!!! ROFL!!!

Yep, you too!!! Kids are on their own schedule. Time is of noooo consequence! And yno what? They're only small for a few minutes, so let them do it. In a few minutes they'll be driving cars, moving out and going to university. Let 'em be and take a moment to enjoy.

No comments: