A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold December morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that a thousand 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 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 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 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 theater in Boston and the seats average $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?
To be busy or not to be busy? That is the question. Can you be too busy? How much busyness is enough? When does it become too much?
Sometimes busyness is a choice, sometimes it's not - life insists on it sometimes and you have no choice. Busyness can be painful at times. Other times being busy can save you - from boredom, sadness, depression, facing reality - when used as a defense mechanism.
I used to be 'busy' all the time - especially when the kids and I were younger (sad but true). For me - I feel I have matured (Lol)! I stop now and I 'look' - a lot. I also keep busy and not with just busy work - I try to put some time in my life for fun. I think I have a good blend going on. I believe this is one thing I have a handle on . . .
Oops - or I did - the world is constantly changing and we have to be able to adapt - and my life and my busyness factor is going to change. Change is an unknown. Change makes one fearful. So once again - I'm going to have to do some 'soul' work - if you know what I mean. . . .
There is a time to be busy and a time to be not busy - the real issue is figuring out a happy medium. I found through error that the answer isn't black or white - it is in the middle - gray.