Friday, September 04, 2009

Something to think about

Social Experiment-Very Interesting


Washington DC, Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later: The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the till and then without stopping, continued to walk away.

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

10 minutes later: A 3 year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly, as the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the entire time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every single parent, without exception, forced them to move on.

45 minutes later: The musician played. Only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 of these people gave him small amounts of money, probably out of pity but more importantly they still continued to walk at their normal pace. He did collected $32.

1 hour later: He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best and most well known 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 theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the Washington Metro station was organized by a wealthy Pennsylvania businessman and the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities. The questions raised: in a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be:

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 then.....

How many other things are we really missing?

15 comments:

Granny on the Web said...

This is such a good demonstration of what we in the haste of life, fail to observe. It seems the younger ones could sense the beauty of it, but the adults were too busy getting on to their next appointment, to even appreciate what was there.
Sad indictment of today...
Love Granny

Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...

May be that is why Marketing the word is used. Money attracts Money.
But a question arise :
The people who were passing that day were knowledgable about the instrument and the pieces.
Or,
The people who paid $100 were knowlegable about the instrument and the pieces.
Or,
May be the people passing-by were already busy And have no time.
Or,
May be we need pre-confirmation of events by advt. so that we can enjoy without any disturbances in a place specially arranged for music.
I am thinking.

Merle said...

Dear Patty ~~ Great example of the
big rush that everyone is in these
days. No time to stop and smell the roses.
Glad you enjoyed the post about the cat and Bert and Margaret and the Police advice. I hadn't heard of the crying baby or the water taps turned on. I would be caught on both of those, but not now.. Take great care
my friend, Much love, Merle.

kavita said...

Patty...it is a wonderful story..what is life if full of care ,we have no time to stand and stare...I hope you are recovering fine from your eye surgery.Have a great weekend.

nanny said...

Amen....we all need to slow down and smell the roses!

mommanator said...

unfortunalely we miss all too much of the good and let the eternal pass us by!thansk for letting me share in the good!

Patti said...

This was so timely for me today. I have to wonder, how much does God try to speak to us, get our attention and yet we do not even hear the whisper of His voice.

Brenda said...

I enjoyed hearing the fact that the children did want to stay and listen. I like these kinds of experiments. They really do teach us somthing. Have a great weekend Patty and thanks for sharing this story.

Wanda said...

Oh Patty ~~ I'm so sorry I've been so remiss on commenting lately..

You know all that's going on, and I just wanted to say again THANK YOU for all the information, and encouragment you give me on the radiation...being through it twice you are the expert. Yes, I did get a laugh from the Udderly Smooth cream..... But it sure works.

Love and Hugs
Wanda

Gramma Ann said...

Back 12 or 14 years ago, I use to choose a restaurant to eat at because, there was an older gentleman who sat and played the piano while we ate. Yes, he wanted tips, but so be it, his playing was worth a few bucks. He also took requests, which of course, I always requested my favorite song, "Twilight Time" and enjoyed eating my meal while he played it, and many other tunes of my generation. ; )

I enjoyed the story, and as someone else commented, "Sometimes we need to take the time to smell the roses."

You too, have a great week-end.

Denise said...

Hi Patty, what an amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing it. I hope we will all take life a little slower and learn to appreciate what is around us. Have a great weekend.

Renie Burghardt said...

People are so wrapped up in their problems and busyness that they rarely stop to hear the music, or see the beauty around them, and that is sad.

Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Renie

Vinisha said...

Wow! This hit me so hard, I can barely think of any words.

Just wow!

Arkansas Patti said...

It is so sad that the pressures of our lives deny us the chance to just stop and enjoy. I am sure if someone showed up one hour late for work with the excuse of listining to a concert in the Metro station, they might be out of a job. That is why I love retirement.
Would like to see the same experiment done in a relaxed setting like a park. I pretty sure there would have been a different outcome.

Thank you so much for stopping by and your lovely comment. Have a wonderful weekend.

Twisted Fencepost said...

That is interesting.
We all should slow down and enjoy life a little more.