In Washington, DC, at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007,
this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During
that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them
on their way to work. After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that
there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few
seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About 4 minutes later:


The violinist received his first dollar.. A woman threw money in the hat
and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At 6 minutes:

A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his
watch and started to walk again.

At 10 minutes:

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 action was
repeated by several other children, but every parent - without exception -
forced their children to move on quickly.

At 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.
The man collected a total of $32.

After 1 hour:

He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one
applauded. There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest
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 each to sit
and listen to him play the same music.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C Metro
Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment
about perception, taste and people's priorities.

This experiment raised several questions:

*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 reached from this experiment could be this:

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 ever made.

How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?


Enjoy life NOW ... it has an expiration date!