Stop and smell the roses?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Tucker, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. Tucker

    Tucker Lion Rampant

    Do you remember to do that? Most of us don't, as shown by the following story:

    Pearls Before Breakfast -

    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.

    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. 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. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

    45 minutes:
    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.

    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 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 had sold out a theater 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 commonplace 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?

    This reminds me of an old song:

    YouTube - Ringo Starr - Stop And... Smell The Roses - Clip - 1981

  2. SuiGeneris

    SuiGeneris blue 3

    To be a little off topic I never understood the saying "stop and smell the roses." I mean why would you want to smell roses anyways, they smell like crap!

    Anyway, I normally do take time if I see something that really catches my eye or something that sounds really nice. I like to enjoy those small moments, ya know?
  3. Boredie

    Boredie In need of Entertainment

    I'm not surprised to say the least. People don't have time to notice anything worth while anymore (in such circumstances)

    Obviously you don't know a good smell when you sniff. :shake:
  4. Rebeccaaa

    Rebeccaaa yellow 4!

    I was astonished when I read the last few paragraphs of that story. It's sad, but it's also hard to say whether you would have stopped yourself. I like to think I would have, but really, I dunno. Everyone's always in such a rush to get some place.
    Tucker likes this.
  5. Tucker

    Tucker Lion Rampant

    Matter of opinion, I guess, but the expression does seem a bit random. Feel free to substitute the enticing aroma of your choice.
  6. Bliss

    Bliss Sally Twit

    I would have stopped if it was beautiful enough to stop me. Sometimes I walk past street performers because they just can't play the instrument well or their voice sounds like they've swallowed several razor blades.
  7. PretzelCorps

    PretzelCorps Registered Member

    Hmmm, it makes for a nice story, but I don't know if a metro station is one of the best places available to be conducting sociological experiments in "stopping"...
  8. Tucker

    Tucker Lion Rampant

    Oh, but I think it is. That is, I think the locale may have been chosen to make a point.
  9. Twitch

    Twitch Registered Member

    If I ever saw a person playing a violin or some other instrument on the street, I would stop and listen. I would give them money if I had it, too. Usually it's people playing drums, and they usually aren't good.

    off-topic: I hate the smell of all flowers.
    Tucker likes this.
  10. Wade8813

    Wade8813 Registered Member

    World class Musician Gives Free Concert - Basically Ignored

    Perception Bits Of Wisdom


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