The Musician

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, it was calculated that thousand of people went through the station. 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. 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 the finale and silence took over, no one noticed, no one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the musician was Joshua Bell, arguably one of the best violinists 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 had played to a sold out audience at a theater in Boston and that too at tickets worth $100. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people.

The outlines were: In a common place environment when we don’t already know the value of something:

Do we appreciate it?

Do we recognize it?

Do we perceive beauty?

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?

So, stop, look for and recognize the beautiful things in your life which you miss just because you keep running after materialistic things !!