This piece from the Washington Post was sent to me recently. As I read the story and watched the video, I was reminded of those immortal words spoken by Matthew Broderick in the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (and now in the Honda CRV Superbowl commercial), “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around every once in awhile, you could miss it.”
The story is about classical violinist Joshua Bell, widely regarded as one of the best in the world. He enthusiastically takes part in a social experiment on whether people would stop to watch a busker at a metro station if they didn’t know he was, in fact, a musician such as Bell. The results are somewhat startling. He was barely noticed in the metro station, yet only days before had played to a sold-out audience who coughed up $100 per ticket.
I’m no expert on classical music. I wouldn’t know the difference between a $3.5M Stradivarius and a tarnished, out of tune fiddle dusted off from the attic. But I can appreciate great music. I’ve often dropped spare change into an open guitar case when inspired to do so. Yet I wonder, would I have stopped and taken a moment to watch him play and appreciate the beauty of his music? Or would I have just hurried by on my way to work, hustling to catch the next train?
Which begs the question – how many of us don’t take the time to appreciate the beauty around us? Or stop and recognize the talent of those right in front of us? It’s too easy to let pressure and stress get in the way of human potential. Take a moment to breathe and think about those who have their own ability to shine and give them the recognition they so richly deserve. I know I will.