A man sat down in a subway station in Washington D.C. and began to play the violin. It was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about forty-five minutes.

During this time, as it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people would pass through the station, many of them on their way to work.

Three minutes passed and a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and paused for a few seconds, then hurried to avoid being late on schedule.

A few minutes later, the violinist received the first dollar tip: a woman threw the money into the box and continued walking without stopping.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started walking again. The one who paid the most attention was a three-year-old boy.

His mother pulled him, but the boy stopped to look at the violinist.

Finally the mother yanked him firmly and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This behavior was repeated by several other children.

All parents, without exception, forced them to move.

In the forty-five minutes that the musician played, only six people stopped and stayed a moment.

About twenty gave him some money, but they continued walking normally. He raised $ 32. When he finished playing and silence returned, no one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

Nobody knew but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world.

He played one of the most complex pieces ever written, on a violin worth $ 3.5 million.

Two days before he played on the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at Boston's Symphony Hall and seats in the stalls cost an average of $ 100.

This is a true story.

The execution of Joshua Bell in disguise in the subway station was organized by the Washington Post newspaper as part of a social experiment on people's perception, taste and priorities. The question was: in a common environment, at an inappropriate time, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context ?.

But the real question to ponder is: if we don't have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world play the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing out on?

%d bloggers like this: