Something To Think About . .

Joshua Bell

A colleague sent me this today, which made me think about what we miss by rushing through life without pausing, noticing and appreciating things that in other circumstances and environments we would love and value.

THE SITUATION

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.


generic Seroquel online About 4 minutes later:


The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.


source site At 6 minutes:


A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.


http://seadogproductions.co.uk/our-seadog-reuben/ 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 theatre in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

Joshua Bell

Joshua Bell


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?

Brought me back to thinking about something I wrote last year – see here: Do You Value What’s Right Under Your Nose?

The camera never lies…

camels

camels

Or does it?

This picture was taken directly above the camels in the desert at sunset.

It is considered one of the best pictures of its year.

The camels are the whitish flecks.
The black camel shapes are the shadows!

(with thanks to Emmanuel Elliott for sending this through)

So I’m prompted here to wonder about how we see and interpret things, and the meaning we make from them – the shadows in this photograph are bigger, bolder, capture the attention and look as if they represent reality, as if they are the camels. Then we discover that the real camels are the tiny spots of light, overshadowed by their shadows. It’s like an optical illusion, and reminds me of The Allegory of the Cave in Plato’s best-known work, The Republic.

How often are we afraid of what is really only a shadow, a trick of the light?  Something we avoid or don’t do because we mis-perceive a monster lurking, a large object in the way, when the reality is a spot of light?

How often are we seduced by the outer, louder, more obvious in our lives, and therefore miss the subtle, the sensitive, that which requires us to go deeper and reflect, or take an uncommon perspective and see value and beauty in the less familiar?  So much depends on the way we look at things – can we walk around our own thoughts, our biases and long-held opinions and beliefs, and find greater value than we have previously dreamt?

Like the optical illusion books popular a few years ago, which reveal a hidden image when you view them in a certain way, our world can reward us with fresh ideas and possibilities if we take the time to shift our position, reconsider our point of view and see things differently.

See what you can find in this picture:

Find the hidden message

Find the hidden message