In the past week, I received a very inspiring e-mail from a person who is very dear to me. I always enjoy reading e-mail from my friends and loved ones and messages such as this one bring a smile to my face and send me on a philosophical journey.
I have written before on the topic of noticing beauty, but feel that we can never tire of inspiring stories that exemplify the importance of staying in the moment and truly opening all our senses to the magnificence of the world around us. What is beauty? I suppose the answer to this question is unique for each of us. However, I think many of you may agree with me that in the midst of our busy lifestyles, it is often easy for us to miss the experience of something magical unless it is specifically pointed out to us. The following story emphasizes this point. In the busy rush hour commuter traffic, children were the only ones who were in awe of the musician. And as I have written before, on the topic of seeing our world through the eyes of children, the observation about children stopping to listen to the music and watch the musician can remind us of just what we could be missing when we allow our minds to be occupied by daily worries. While it may certainly be more important to us to be at work on time, by allowing ourselves to be present in the moment, we open our senses to inspiration and allow ourselves to become inspired. And one moment of inspiration can create magic that trails us throughout the entire day, everywhere we go, and in everything we do.
So, let’s remember to take a deep breath, open our eyes, our ears, our minds, and simply go with the flow of the moment, allowing ourselves to be inspired and, in turn, inspire others. And when we arrive at our morning appointments, we can continue to be present in the moment while allowing the beauty of the moment that has passed to infuse the ‘now’ with its magic, thus creating a domino effect. Live for the day and enjoy each moment, consciously appreciating all that surrounds us, allowing it to become us.
Affirmation: “I am open to seeing, hearing, feeling, and being beauty.”
Without further ado, here is the e-mail I received, which I would like to share with you.
Violinist in the Metro
From The Effective Club
A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.Three 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.
A minute later, 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. Clearly he was late for work.The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but 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. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.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 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 his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats averaged $100.
Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?