Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thankful Thursday

We are thankful that us kitties already know how to stop and smell the roses; how to sleep in a sunbeam; how to truly enjoy life's myriad pleasures. We wish that our humans knew how to do this as instictively as we kitties do but they could use some help. Just read this email Mommy got this morning as proof:

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. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of 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 a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

A few minutes later, the violinist received his first dollar tip. A woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, 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 tugged him along, 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. Another 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 best 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 his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theatre in Boston where the seats average $100.

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? That's something worth thinking about.


Click here if you would like to watch some footage of Mr. Bell playing his 300 year old Stradivarius violin in the subway station.

We hope that all of our beans remember that sometimes it's life's little pleasures that count the most. Have a Thankful and Wonderful Thursday everyone!!

14 comments:

Daisy said...

What a fascinating experiment! And thanks for sharing the video link. I was glad the lady at the end recognized him!

Cheysuli and gemini said...

What a fascinating experiment.

Kaze, Latte, & Chase said...

That is quite amazing! Thank you for sharing. We really do need to stop and appreciate the wonderful things all around us.

Latte

The Crew said...

I keep telling my humans to slow down, slow down...but do they listen?
Is it any wonder my sidebar links aren't up to date?!

Unfortunately, we weren't able to hear the music on the video.

The Meezers said...

wow, what an amazing experiment!!

PB 'n J said...

That is a pawesome story! If only beins would take time to listen to music or smell the roses!

Purrs to my sweet Ginger ManCat!
Your Black Pearl

The Meezers said...

FAGIN!!!! COME PLAYPLAYPLAY!!! NOW!!!! WE HAS TO!!! - Billy

Zippy, Sadie and Speedy said...

I wonder what some of dem beans thawt when dey found out what dey had missed...When mom and dad were in New York a long, long time ago der was a couple playing on a street corner. Mom stayed fur a long time and lissened to dem, she sed dey was furry good. Der names were Richard and Linda Thompson, and dey gots to be kinda famous. Mom sez if dey hadn't been on vacation she prolly would haf lissend to only part of a song and den walked away.

Derby said...

Interesting but you don't have to stop to listen to the whole thing. Mum has seen street musicians in London in the tube stations. You get a bit of nice music and move on. Plus most people who not recognize Joshua Bell by sight.

DEBRA said...

mom said she can't remember what tv show it was (20/20?)but they did the same thing,hired a world class violinist and le them play in the main station in nyc...same result.

amazing...

purrs
your devoted lady love
miss boo

Junior said...

We think it is very interesting that the kids stopped or wanted to stop and listen.....

Kellie The Orange Cat said...

Wow, what a great post - we all need to stop and enjoy life - kitty kats too!

LC and Ayla said...

We were confoosed, but The Big Thing said he read about that. He sed it was a big surprise...

Sunny's Mommy said...

That was very interesting to watch!