Thursday, January 19, 2012

Im coming back.

Its been such a long time since I've been in this space! I thought I would be able to keep up with the new school and still have time for blogging but man I was soooo wrong. Luckily, the first day of a new class a professor gave us the following article to read. Something in this article reminded me of the very beginning of this blog and how much I enjoyed taking (simple) note of the things I found lovely in my everyday routine. Now that we've moved and things have settled Im hoping to get back to regular blogging. So to start off the new year and a new chapter of blogging I want to share this article. Its short and simple but it made me stop and reevaluate in a good way. Check it:

Perception & Joshua Bell

J.R. Ransom

The Situation: 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?


Vanessa said...

Hi Kate,

I've just stumbled across your blog and am loving it - this story, as well as your many crafty and photographic talents! But how do I follow you? I can't find anywhere to subscribe....

Visit my blog too and if you like it, become a follower -

I look forward to reading more posts from you!

Vanessa x

Kate said...

Thanks Vanessa! Glad you found my spot. If you want to follow this blog you can follow the link on the left hand side under the "following" section(its right under my daily reads). I'll be off to check out your blog next :D

jennifer anderson said...

well people got to go to work and parents are much busier then children lol