January 26, 2009

Stop and Listen...

The Washington Post, as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people - organized an impromptu musical performance at the DC metro station. Dressed down, world famous violinist - Joshua Bell played Bach on an instrument worth $3.5 million, in the center of the station, during rush hour. It was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

3 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. After 4 minutes, 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. The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy, but was hurried along by a parent. 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 that the violinist was one of the best musicians in the world. Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats averaged $100.
A worthy, message, stop and listen to the music - or smell the roses, or just look around;)

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