Some years ago, a man walked out of a metro subway station in downtown Washington, D.C. He wore blue jeans and a T-Shirt. Many people were hurrying by as the man went to the wall of a building and took up station right next to a trash can.
Once settled, he opened a small case and took out a violin. He began to play. For the next 45 minutes he played some of the most beautiful music ever composed. And, he played it brilliantly.
In that time, more than 1,000 people passed by. Only 7 of those people stopped to listen for one minute. Finally, the man replaced the violin in its case, and walked off into the crowd.
“So, what?” you ask.
So, I shall tell you. This was no ordinary man. This was no ordinary musician. He was Joshua Bell, one of the finest classical violinists in the world. The violin he played was a Stradivarius. It had been made in 1710. It was worth $3.5 million dollars. A few nights before Joshua Bell had sold out Boston’s Symphony Hall. He had agreed to play on the street as part of a project called “Perceptions and Priorities”, commissioned as an experiment by THE WASHINGTON POST.
Despite his genius, not 1% of the more than 1,000 people who paraded by stopped to listen for even one minute.
What about you and me? Would we have paused to listen, to appreciate… or… like the others, would we just have rushed on, completely oblivious to the beautiful music pouring from that magnificent violin?
I think there is a message here, one that applies to all of us. We are just too busy, too absorbed only in ourselves and in our lives to notice that… there is always beauty all around us. We just need to open our eyes. To see it and to appreciate it.
The writer Leo Buscaglia put it this way:
Too often we underestimate the beauty and the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring…all of which have the ability to turn a life around.”
Think about that, my dear readers, and after thinking about it…. please…. open your eyes.