Sunday, December 6, 2009


Today's post was sent to my daughter in an email yesterday and she shared it with the family. I have no way to verify its authenticity, however, the lesson is a good one...


Something to think about…

In Washington DC 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 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. Several other children repeated this action. Without exception, each parent forced his child 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 and no one gave 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.

This is a true story. 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.

The questions raised:

*In a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?

*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?

Special question from the cave man:

Is the baby Jesus like the overlooked violin player and are we taking time to acknowledge His birth in just nineteen days?

P.S. Yes, this is a true story. Witness the video below...

P.S.S. Many of the internet stories floating around are not true. If you ever want to check the accuracy of a story, check out Here is the link that verifies the facts in this post:

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