Stop to smell the roses...

My dear friend sent this email to me the other day. I am sure many of you have read it before, but it was a new one to me.

Washington DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. He 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 till
and, without stopping, continued to walk.

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

10 minutes:
A 3 year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly, as 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. Every parent, without exception, forced them to move

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.

1 hour:
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 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 Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

I did check this out on Snopes to make sure it was true. One has to wonder how many things of beauty we pass by on a daily basis because we're just too hurried to take notice. Seems we all should take the time to smell the roses.

Happy hump day all!
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Judy said…
I have read that email several times and it does make me pause a bit each time I read it. Can you imagine the things we miss each day because we are in too much of a hurry?
Emmy said…
Wow! Really gets you thinking. I love how all the children noticed. That is so true with life.. we just need to be more like our children at times, more kind, more forgiving, slow down a bit and life would be good.

Thank you for sharing this.
Such a good reminder, Alicia... between not paying attention, & taking things for granted, we do miss so very much that's lovely in the world.

Wishing you a day of beauty & wonder,
Relyn said…
I had read that. Isn't it absolutely amazing. An indictment, really against all our busy business. Yes?
Priscila said…
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clairedulalune said…
Alicia what a story! I know of one where a local priest who was strongly respected in the community, dressed heavily as a beggar outside his church and was shocked to find all his local perishers ignored him and some even looked disgusted as they walked into the church. When they all filed in, he walked in behind them, walked up to the pew and started the sermon, much to the embrassment of everyone.
How sad and a very true post!! ((Hugs))
Wow...that's quite a story! Yitzak Perlman is playing the Houston Symphony tonight...we were supposed to go but hubby has to go out of town for work :(
Alicia: What a sad and revealing story! All the presumptions and assumptions we make . . . that because of where the person is playing they and their music are not that significant. The children knew.

Did he do it as an experiment, or to offer the magic of his music to those who might never hear it otherwise???
Sara said…
what a good post! i try to stop and smell the roses....i tried to think of what i would have done. i know if i had been alone i probably would have passed right on by. i think and HOPE that if my kids had been with me , i would have let them stop......i hope....does get one thinking, though...
briannelee said…
I heard about this in one of my arts admin classes. It is very interesting!
Brian Miller said…
wonderful story...amazing what we walk passed...there is so much beauty in the people we see every day...if only we looked. great post!
Snap said…
What a story! Sad. So much beauty *out there* to be seen and heard. We have to be willing to look -- not live in our own little world -- take off the blinders.
otin said…
Imagine if it had been Bon Jovi?? LOL!
Vicky said…
I know I've heard this... is there a video perhaps too? I'm trying to recall how I heard about it and I am really leaning towards video.

Regardless, its fascinating to me! We do tend to get caught up in our own world, our own head, and its pretty sad we can't be in the moment more often.
S. Etole said…
How much we miss in all of our busy-ness.
What an interesting story! Thank you for sharing, this is the first time I have read about it. Really makes one stop & think about all of the beauty & moments we miss on a daily basis!
Hello Lindello said…
Wonderful story. I know I am veyr guilty of of not living in the moment. Its always those times when you realize what your doing and a light goes on in your head.
How much do I miss because I am in such a hurry? Most of those things are moments that can't be recaptured and life is too short to miss the good stuff.

Thanks - I needed to hear a "slow down" message today. This week feels like one big whirlwind and I could use a few moments to smell the roses.
Funny how children see everything around them huh, maybe we should all slow down a little.
corabela said…
Wow. I hadn't heard that one yet. Amazing. This isn't always true, but usually, I'm the one looking up at the clouds or the moon while others rush around me. At a young age, I noticed how stressed and rushed my own mother was because she never stopped to appreciate the beauty around her. I suppose it's her I should thank for making me so aware of the beauty she was missing. : )
TheChicGeek said…
So true, Alicia. I believe we must always stop to smell the roses...we do miss so much.
Kinda what my post was about today too...funny how we bloggers think alike. I think we ARE glass half full kind of people. Isn't it wonderful :)
Love to You, Alicia!
Liss said…
This experiment is not just about people not having the time to stop but it is also about our prescription of things. One of the best musicians in the world wouldn't play for free.... the only people who busk are those who are no good enough to get a gig else where. If he had a sign and some publicity posters around him to display who he was, people would have stopped even if they had not heard of him before.

time and prescription that a busking bum at a subway station is not as important to me as catching the 5:15pm home. We are all guilty of this behavior some time or another.
Matty said…
Assuming that he was nothing more than a panhandler, everyone missed the masterpiece.

A good example of not stopping to smell the roses.
Oh yes, I've heard about it AND saw it on Youtube multiple times-It definitely makes you realize what this society has become.
My name is PJ. said…
It all goes back to taking the time to smell the roses, doesn't it?

I'm your newest follower. I saw 'vintage and antique' and my pulse literally quickened.

What is 'BOYLERPF'? I'm guessing it's an acronym?
Admiral Hestorb said…
I want to thank you for your visit to my cat's blog. :-) especially today, as it enabled me to read yours and get to know you.
I remember reading about Mr. Bell. It was an unfortunate place for him to do that in a way, for people really do have to meet trains, or whichever mode of transportation was involved and while that applied to did not apply to those who simply could not appreciate the riches they were being gifted with when Mr. Bell played.
Wonderful to meet you. Thank you for stopping by.
Britwife said…
That is absolutely amazing - and I need to think within myself about it. I don't know if I would've taken the time either, isn't that sad?
Des said…
Whoa, this is a such a cool story and an excellent reminder.
Haddock said…
Had read this earlier but the fact remains that we are too busy in our life to notice things.

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