Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Back again

First of all a very big Hi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! to you all out there. I am glad to be back folks.

The day before I got this 'fwd' in my mailbox called 'the stunning fact of life'This article was Published in the Washington Post web site, you could read the whole article there..

Its a stunning fact of life - thats what it was called, and it is stunning indeed how superficially we are evolving as far as our mental state is concerned. Are we really evolving even as we evolve? So read on and here goes..

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 a thousandpeople went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for afew 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 startedto 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 tolook 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 theparents, 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 ofthe best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theatre in Boston and the seats average $100.This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as partof a 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?

..So how did you find the article? Isnt it amazing that we pay top dollar for the same seat that was coming free at the metro station. Are we really that much into labels and pomp/show?

Its just like a really talented artist not being given prime gallery space, but a known but mediocre artist being begged to show there by the same gallery. Why because that artist would be 'known' which simply tranlates into has held more exhibitions/sold more/and most of all has proper connections..

And when a freind asks me all excited whether the dress I am wearing is 'one of the top brands', and my reply is in the negative immediately 'oohs and aahs' stop and the 'no great shakes' look jumps right in..We are getting more and more superficial. We are paying too much attention to brands rather than quality. Heck anything goes in the name of a brand.


  1. very interesting article. thank you. eye opening.

  2. Thank you Kearby.. a little late in coming the 'thank you' is, but then better late than never right?

  3. I saw that amazing video and only wished that I had been in that subway station to hear Joshua Bell play.

    You're right. What else are people missing? This is a clear case of not stopping to smell the flowers.

  4. Thank you for stopping by dear 'heartinsanfrancisco'.
    I feel we are missing out on so much caught in the everyday superficiality of our routines. Yes, once in a while we should stop, take a deep breath and stop to smell the flowers..