Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Subway Concert

Now here's the thing. This afternoon I was in major fangirl mode and I posted up some pictures of Sam Evans from Glee. And after a lot of mature deliberation I have decided to post this up too, even though it will *gasp* push Sam Evans' pictures down, which is, just, really, heartbreaking. So you must, must, promise me you will go scroll down and see the Sam Evans post, okay, okay? And since I'm pretty desperate, I'll give you a link, HERE, for you to go to if you have arthritis in your fingers and can't scroll down.

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

Here I'm gonna cut out the cheesy omg-life-changing questions that are tagged onto the end of every omg-this-is-groundbreaking email such as this and slot in my own.

Haha. I hate all the forwarded emails my dad gets. Because I inevitably end up having to read them too, just because he likes them so much.

No but seriously. Have you ever stopped to think about it? I mean, I understand in the world that we live in now we can't just simply stop in the middle of the road and go, "OMG, LOOK AT THAT ANT. LOOK AT IT. IT'S A WORK OF ART. IT HAS SIX LEGS, A HEAD, A THORAX AND AN ABDOMEN. BRB, I THINK I'M TEARING UP."

Heck, that would be almost as stupid as stopping to pick up a one ringgit note in the middle of the street and getting hit by a car.

And now I'm about to go and say stuff like, oh, we shouldn't do that, we should do this, but it strikes me that I'm in no position to tell people what they should or should not do, and now I'm thinking twice about it, and all I really feel like telling people to do is to look to the sky every once in a while, because just today I saw that it was a rainbow of colours with clouds and stretched over the horizon like colourful cotton candy and purple light shining from behind them, so much so that I wished I'd taken a picture until I remember that it doesn't matter because I have a picture of it in my head, and now I see that this is turning out to be a really long sentence and if ever there was anyone who had the right to tell people to look to the sky, it's Gandalf and now Gandalf's voice is in my head saying, "Look to my coming on the first light of the fifth day, at dawn, look to the east" and now I remember that he said look to the east not look to the sky which is kinda depressing oh God I need to rewatch Lord of the Rings gahhh anyway what was I saying?

Erm. Just think about it, okay?

Oh gosh. That was a really long sentence.

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