How much are we missing


11 Years
Apr 28, 2008
SW of Greenwood, INDIANA
Washington , DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007 The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 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. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

45 minute
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, nor was there any 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 common place 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?
Excellent post and hopefully many will take it as a reminder that no matter the difficulty one must face in their day, if we start it being thankful for the things we do have the day goes much easier.
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Very good point. Sometimes we are in such a hurry to get on and do what we need to in life, that we miss the most important moments completely.
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That's awesome! I love social experiments like that. Kinda like the steps in the subway station that they made into musical keys

For one of our sociology classes we had to go into a jewelry store dressed in our rattiest clothes, and take note of how we were treated. The next week, we had to go back to the same place dressed very well. It was sad. People suck.
What a neat story!

I've always thought street performers were awesome and some of them are extremely talented! I just hate standing in the middle of a busy street having to listen to them so typically I will pass right by. That's just paranoid me though!

This story was definitely a neat reminder to take notice of the little things.
Last week I was shoveling the snow from my driveway complaining to myself that I'm too old for this crap. Instantly the thought of a friend who recently died entered my head-"Poor Richard can't complain about this-he's dead"Shortly thereafter the mailman showed up, and he said "Boy it could have been worse than this." this after he'd been fighting his way through the mess for two days. The power of positive thinking and the willingness to exist in the moment. I have spent too much of my life rushing from point a to point b without viewing the scenery. I'm trying to enjoy each step of the journey rather than rushing to the endpoint. I don't always succeed, but I'm getting better. Ever notice how a child is so much better at living moment to moment. Why and when do so many of us lose that ability? Geo.
You've just reminded me of this quote:

"In the past, I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy." -Henri J.M. Nouwen

I try...but sometimes the turkeys get me down.

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