Discussion
  • Alicea…this is a great post. An excellent story of how quick we move in life today, without taking notice of the many things that occur in our day. One of the benefits that H3 taught me was to take time to appreciate simple things in life…like enjoying one’s meal without distractions of reading, answering the cellphone or watching TV at the same time :-)

    Trev

    From Trev Witt
    January 11, 2013

  • Thanks, Trev. That lecture stuck with me as well. I believe it was Lisette or Bob Wright who said, “When you think about it, eating is really boring–that’s why we find other things to entertain us as we eat.” I like to go on walks without headphones to distract me. I find it really clears my mind so I can focus on the natural beauty around me.

    From Alicea
    January 14, 2013

A Lesson In Mindfulness from a Street Performer

Normally, I am not a fan of chain messages but this one really spoke to me. I thought I’d share it with you because it reminded me to be mindful throughout the day and to take in each moment with gratitude. After reading the story, ask yourself what would you do in this situation. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

A lesson in mindfulness…

“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. Du…ring 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?

 

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