Something to think about...
@ :04 the violinist received his first dollar: the woman threw money in the hat and without stopping and continued to walk.
@ :06 a young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.
@ :07 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 occurrence was repeated by several other children, but 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. He collected a total of $32.17...
After approx. an hour, the man finished playing...
and silence took over.
No one even noticed, let alone applaud.
There was no recognition at all-
But unbeknownst to oblivious DC commuters, the street musician under the ball cap was Joshua Bell- one of the greatest musicians in the world, a Grammy Award winner who has sold millions of records.
He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written... on the Gibson-Stradivarius violin worth $3.5M!
Alas, $20 of the $32.17 he did receive that day came from the only person who actually recognized the famed virtuoso. Just two days prior, this same Joshua Bell had sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100+ each to sit and listen to him play the exact same music...
This is a true story: Joshua Bell -playing as an incognito busker in the D.C. Metro Station- was organized by WaPo as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.
The experiment raised several questions
we all perhaps need to ask ourselves:
*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 reachedfrom the experiment could be this: