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Taking The Time To Smell The Roses

Taking The Time To Smell The Roses – A True Story

I came across the following story which I believe is worth sharing. It emphasis the IMPORTANT of slowing your life down. We live in a society of go!, go!, go!. Everybody is in a rush without too much thought. Maybe, it’s time to stop and ask yourself, why are you in a rush? Where are you going? Do you know where you are going? Do you know where you want to go? Or are you just in speed for speed sake?

Anyway, here is the story. It’s a true story base on social experiment by Washington Post.

The story goes –

In Washington DC, at a metro station on a cold January morning in 2007, a man with a violin played six Bach pieces for 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After about three minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About four minutes later

The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At six minutes

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

At 10 minutes

A three-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 the whole time.

The action was repeated by several other children, but every parent – without exception – forced their children to move on quickly. 

At 45 minutes

The musician played continuously. Only six 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.

After one hour

He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all. 

None of these by-passers knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, he is among one of the greatest musicians in the world. He was playing one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million. Two days before, Joshua Bell had sold out a theatre in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each for audience members to sit and listen to him play the same music!

Joshua Bell playing incognito was organised by the Washington Post as part of a social experience about perception, taste and people’s priorities.

This experiment raised several questions:

In a commonplace environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?

If so, do we stop to appreciate it?

One of the 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, then how many other things are we missing as we rush through life?

Slow down and see, feel and smell the beauty around you. For as somebody say, “How we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives. 

(Story source – from the book – Live What You Love by Naomi Simson)

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