A man sat at a metre 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 1, 100 people went through the
station, most of them en 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 mcman threw the money in the till
and without stopping, and continued walk.
A few minutes later. someone leaned against
the wall to listen to him, but the man melted 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 leek 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 ether children.
All the parents, without exception,
forced them to mave en.
in the 45 minutes the musician played. only 6
people stopped and stayed fer a while. About 20
gave him money, but continued to walk their
normal pace, He collected . When he finished
playing and silence took ever. ene noticed it. No
ene applauded, nor was there any recognition.
Alam I in
No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell,
ene of the mest talented musicians in the werld. He
had just played one of the most intricate pieces
ever written, on a violin worth . 5 million dollars,
Two days before his playing in the subway,
Joshua Bell sold cut at a theater in Beaten where
the seats averaged .
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 priorities of people.
The chatlines were:
In a environment,
at an inappropriate hour,
do we perceive beauty?
Do we stop to appreciate it?
Do we recognize the talent in an
One of the possible camt: cusions from
this experience meld 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, hew many ether things
are we missing?
Learn to stop and smell the roses once in a while.
Youll! never know what you might miss.