An Inconvenient Beauty

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Asmodeus, Jan 31, 2012.


    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 thousands 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

    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 top
    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 a social experiment
    about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were:
    in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive

    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?
  2. I've heard of this before, but the last paragraph really hits me. Of course it's all summed up in the old phrase; stop and smell the roses.
  3. This is sad, really. I love musicians that take the time to play in public places, maybe for the money, or maybe for praise and an ego boost- someone really applauding their work.
  4. The significance and beauty of this post has eluded me because I have seen it so many times.
  5. *impales Tegan with a violin*
  6. Well if you have work to go to then it's kind of understandable that you shut out everything so nothing will distract you from getting to work, then everyone have their own priorities, I would probably stop and listen to the music because I myself are a musician and the closer I am to the instrument the person is playing the bigger is the chance that I notice it. For example if someone is playing violin then I would probably stop and listen because I myself have played for 6 years, if people are singing outside then I will hear it even if I am in a rush and I will most likely stop, then I will probably notice every mistake they do if they happen to do a mistake xD
    If someone would play an instrument or a genre that I'm not interested in then I wouldn't even notice that they were there, the kind of music he played isn't anything I would listen to and I would probably just walk past him, if I stopped then it would be because he played violin and not because he played good.

    This has to do with priorities, taste and how much time people have. If you are in a hurry, doesn't like that kind of music and priorite your work then you wont notice any musician. Even if you like the music but priorite your work and are in a hurry then you probably won't hear it either.
    Some people can't notice what they aren't interested in and some people can't notice things at all when they are in a hurry. Maybe it is sad but if you are in a hurry and stop to 'smell every flower' you see then you will be late every day. I would save my flowers untill a day I have time or untill my workday is done.

    I have no idea how much sense this text makes xD hahaha but I wan't to say one more thing, I agree that it sometimes is a pity that we just walk past things we should take a closer look at, sometimes even sad that we didn't notice it. But we have our whole life to find new things that interest us so if we miss one thing then another upportunity will sooner or later come again :9 Maybe xD
  7. I read through the post quickly, clicked "like" and kept surfing the interwebs.
  8. Whatever.

    A tendency to stop and smell the roses at inconvenient times makes you come across as an unreliable flake, and may prevent certain others from ever acknowledging any future counterexamples of your reliability. You'll be seen as a lazy, perpetually tardy, slowpoke and a terrible person. Roses? Beauty? Those are just flowery excuses, and nobody likes excuses.

    There'll be plenty of time for smelling roses when you're buried under them.

    And maybe... mayyyybe...

    Maybe it's not that people can't appreciate good music. Maybe the station acoustics just really suck. I mean loud crowds and moving trains? Hello?![/tagged for the sarcasm-detection impaired]
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Coffee hurt my feelings. T___T