a penny for your attention…

Dr. Weeks’ Comment:    wow!

How much are we all missing?
… Perceptions can be deceiving

Perceptions  Washington, DC  Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin 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 hat without stopping and continued to walk.

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

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 all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

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

Findings; No one knew this, but: · The violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. · What he played was one of the most intricate pieces ever written · with a violin valued at $3.5 million dollars.  Just two days before Joshua Bell performed to a sold out theatre in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each.

This is a true story. The idea of Joshua Bell playing incognito in the Metro Station was organized by 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: 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 blessings, that could have been a memorable part of our lives, have we missed and how many are we missing right now?

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