Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Perception is Everything

This story was shared on Etsy and I want to share it with you...

Perception is everything:Washington DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007.

A man played six Bach pieces on a violin 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, without stopping, 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:A3 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 all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced them to move on.

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.

1 hour: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 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 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 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 ....

How many other things are we missing?

From this thread on Etsy


Liz C. said...

I absolutely loved this story! Makes me want to open my eyes.

pegi said...

BRAVO!! BRAVO!! Thanks for sharing that with us. It's amazing, isn't it? And yet a child, if left on their own would have stayed and listened. But we live in a world where, if we came to work a few minutes late, we'd be written up or fired. But, yes, if I can.....I stay! Art IS more important to my soul, than an hours pay! BRAVO,Krystina!!!

Krystyna81 said...

ah...I wish we could always remember that children could teach us so much about observing and creating if we took the time to look and listen as much as they do!