(Milind,Thanks for reminding me of this through your morning email )
True story … you can see this on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnOPu0_YWhw
. . . Something To Think About . . .
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 $200 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?
Acknowledging Post Blog Response from Anand
WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—
No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
6 thoughts on “The Beauty we Miss as we rush through Life………”
Here is the video :
I heard an old Man play some amazing old Hindi hits on his coconut shell violin inside a crowded local train at Mumbai and as we crossed Vashi-Mankhurd bridge, there was only the sound of music, the water, the rhythm of the bridge and me. Everything else vanished. Stunning.
Reminds me of this Poem by W.H.Davies :
Thanks Anand for providing the lovely links to add value to the blogpost..I’ve acknowledged this in the main post itself
Just another way to interpret the incident…
Most of us do not have the talent to recognize talent (especially in a field/subjects, we are not very familiar with).
We are waiting to be told by other’s, what is beautiful and good. We are kind of living in a world of ‘accquired’ taste. Normally, even in the 200$ paying audience too there would be lot of such people. Who are there just because someone else told them, that is the place to be seen at.
And am also sure if we had someone introdcuing Mr. Joshua on a loud speaker that day, there would be a crowd listening to him at the station. And there come’s the world of advertizing and marketing into life.
Don’t we see this happening a lot in the field of finance and investment ? Acquired taste for ULIP’s,Endowment plans, Jeevan Surakha blah blah blah…What else can possibly explain Mr. Tendulakar urging us to think about(securing) the future of ‘our’ children ?
You are quite right Raja….Appreciation often is cultivated…..but believe me,when you hear a western or Hindustani classical,and it tugs at your mind and heart,you will get lost in it despite not understanding it’s finer nuances…it has happened to me often….that’s Genius at Play and you will know it !….another point is that pause awhile to smell the grass and listen to soulful sounds,even if it’s your own child strumming the guitar…I have two children who both play this instrument…not genuises…but to a dad they sound like one !…and that’s the point !…..make time or seize moments away from your work or daily grind to sense some beauty around you…Cheers !
The story was simply amazing !! and i do agree with you Raja. What u are saying is absolutely true in today’s times of show-shining. People don’t even bother to know and understand themselves, but crave to be a part of the useless herd mentality more n more..