A common space for harmonic peacemakers
"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. During that time, approximately 2000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After about four 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 four minutes later, the violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.
At six minutes, a young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.
At ten minutes, a three-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 forty-five minutes: The musician played continuously. Only six people stopped and listened for a short while. About twenty gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.
After one 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? 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?"
Video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myq8upzJDJc
People only hear and see what they think they hear or see. Hence we pigeon hole this performer as 'Busker' or 'beggar' and hurry by. The fact that he is one of the best violinists in the world playing on a priceless instrument means very little on the street or at the subway station.
But charge $100 to hear the same performance in a venue where the spectator 'becomes someone' and the crowd flocks from all round. I mean we can then say we have been to see Joshua Bell and we can bask in his reflected glory.
WHAT FICKLE CREATURES WE ARE. WE VALUE NOTHING AND KNOW THE VALUE OF ONLY OUR OWN KUDOS.
Unfortunately, the reality is this!!!!
The majority of human being still don't give value to the little beautiful things they have free. How can they give value to wonderful things?
I the self perceive many things per second, may be as much as twenty five, but select one to put into action. The one that I have tread on earlier, this very often caters to who you think you are "the ego", hence the value one has for what is around you corresponds to one's own value, which is one's own creation, and so goes the cycle of life.
Your words warm my heart, lovely sister and friend...., Eva.
an amazing story. thanks for sharing, Eva.
I don't think people do not appreciate beauty or a good music. I think the what had happened on the train was partly the discomfort people feel when see a different phenomenon on the train - as on this case, not knowing how there are expected to behave, so they just ignore. If people were more "open" - they would at least clap at the end and put some coins in the hat.