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SHADOWS & LIGHTS

SLOW DOWN WORLD

A lot of people including me complain about lack of time. For many of us finding time to do things is a problem.

13 January 2013 Sunday 00:01
by ÖZNUR ÇEVİK

A lot of people including me complain about lack of time. For many of us finding time to do things is a problem. So most of us run from one point to the other and unlike the old Inka’s who used to sit with their tribe, while travelling from one point to another, and wait their souls to catch up with them we just start the day and don't even understand how it ended.

We hardly ever have time to sit and pause, on the contrary we start the day and before we realize it is over.
Not only days, weeks, months, years are passing by and we don’t even realize most of the things happening around us. We most of the time pass by things unnoticed.

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 1,100 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, and 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 most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

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 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?

Until next week keep cool and healthy!


Tags: SLOW DOWN WORLD, SLOW, DOWN, WORLD
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