One of the best things about rainy Sundays and waterlogged Delhi is that it compels you to stay at home and look around to declutter your sanctuary. The Friday edition of my subscribed newspaper carried an article on Feng Shui and career progression and spoke of removing clutter to make space for positive Chi.
Not in the mood to declutter physically (where would I put the stuff? Its raining and the ragman must have run home to get away from the torrential rains), I decided to innovate and declutter my email Inbox which with over 5000 emails accumulated since 2005 required some serious positive Chi.
Glad I did because as I pressed the Delete button with glee for emails, jokes and chain letters thinking MORE POSITIVE CHI, I came across one from November 2009 which got me thinking about how busy we tend to be just living to not take pleasure in what makes our lives meaningful and wonderful to live.
It says the story is true… not sure because I get a lot of true stories and I have a friend who is an expert at using Google for research who always finds out that it is a fabricated one. Nevertheless as a friend of almost 2 decades, she never puts me down and always admits that the stories are nice.
So here I share the story inside an email which will not be subjected to the Delete button and ask that you reflect for moment just the way I did.
A true story worth reflecting on
Washington, 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.
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. Several other children repeated this action. Every parent, without exception, forced his or her children to move on quickly.
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.
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 theatre 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 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? If you like this post, please do share with others. Thanks!
Start your journey with The Karmic Ally Coaching Experience Self-Improvement Strategies Workbook by clicking on the picture of the workbook below or download here. It’s on the house!
Written by: Vatsala Shukla
Violinist by George HodanFollow Me
Share with others!