Joshua Bell is a 39 year old world renowned violinist. He has played at Symphony Hall in Boston, The Library of Congress in Washington D.C., he has appeared on Sesame Street, he played the soundtrack in "The Red Violin" and has played with great symphonies here and abroad.
On January 12th, and 7:21 in the morning Joshua played for 43 minutes in a metro station in Washington DC. Dressed in street clothes, with is violin case lying on the floor in front of him, he played masterpieces that have endured the test of time; "Ave Maria", "Chaconne", "Estrellita". It was a stunt, to see how many people would stop and listen. How many people would throw money into the case? How many people would rush by and not give the musician any notice. Would one person catch on to this famous person and start a crowd that would turn into a small riot?
You can read about this story here: click for a study in human kind.
I enjoyed every minute of it. People fascinate me to no end. I could sit in the metro station all day and watch people go by and never be bored of it. I was surprised at the article in some respects, and yet not so surprised in others. I've been to Washington D.C. People there live at a whole different kind of pace than the rest of the world. Everyone is in a rush to go here, there and everywhere. If Joshua had come out to Southwestern NH, I can tell you that this story would've had a much different outcome. We are more laid back and life doesn't move so fast.
I loved the lady at the end of the story who recognized Joshua and stood there grinning and looking around with that dumbfounded look on her face. I can hear her thinking aloud, "Why aren't these crazy people stopping. Don't they realize who this is? Don't they hear the beautiful music?" In a world where there is so much pressure to do more and be more... sometimes you just need to stop and hear the music.