Perception

PERCEPTION    

 ..something  to think about... 


Washington,  USA, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in  2007.

The man with a violin played six Bach  pieces for about 45 minutes.

During that time  approx. 2 thousand people went through the  station, most of them on their way to work. 

After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there  was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and  stopped for a

few seconds and then hurried to  meet his schedule.  

4  minutes later:  
the  violinist received his first dollar: a woman  threw the money in the hat and, without  stopping, continued to walk..  

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

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  all the time.

This action was repeated by  several other children.

Every parent, without  exception, forced their children to move on  quickly.


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.

1  hour:
He  finished playing and silence took over. No one  noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any  recognition.

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.

This  is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito  in the metro station was organized by the 

Washington Post (newspaper) as part of a social experiment  about perception, taste and people ' s  priorities.

The questions raised: in a  common place environment at an inappropriate  hour, do we perceive beauty?

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?   
 

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