Thursday, February 20, 2014

A must read story - What are you missing out in life?

A Violinist in the Metro

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousand of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best 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 his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?


Anonymous said...

People are stupid.

Anonymous said...

Is it any wonder that chess isn't that popular in America? The tug of
making a living makes it hard for people to appreciate beauty even when it's only a matter of passive listening.

People aren't stupid. They're robbed of time.

Anonymous said...

How about chess doing something like this? Have Magnus Carlsen offer "Free Chess" like the one mentioned in a previous article:

Anonymous said...

The whole classical music is a hype. I dont think people enjoy. It is a show off to prove that they are above normal people who listen folk and popular music. They will $500 ticket and spend time and money to go and listen but they wont pay any attention when the same violin player plays at the train station. This confirms my theory that classical music is a fashion.

Anonymous said...

One, "normal people" would think that something called classical music, that's been around for about 300 years, is more than a hype or fashion. Get a clue!

Two, verbs and nouns keep people from having to fill in your blanks. Use some...they're free.

Three, ask yourself if your opinions make any sense...and regardless of what you conclude, you're probably in no position to judge.

Anonymous said...

May be you are so stupid you dont even get the point I am making. Are you on prescription medication. You are delusional and dont get the point I am making

Anonymous said...

The problem is you don't have a point. But you do seem to resent people who value styles of music that you don't appreciate.

Sorry, maybe with time and exposure, you too can be a "show off".

How do you feel about people who go to art museums or play mostly dull, "positional" chess? Resent them too?

Ever hear of punctuation?