News: Joshua Bell Plays Violin and No One Notices
There was an article being shared around Facebook that really caught my attention. It came from an article in the Washington Post called Pearls Before Breakfast. What was posted on Facebook was actually just a summary of the main points which was posted on Jeff Bridges’ website. Take the time to read the original article, or if you’re in a hurry, get the summary from Jeff Bridges. Basically this ordinary looking guy plays classical music on a violin in a Washington DC subway station for 45 minutes. Just about everyone passes by, only a handful of people stopped to listen, and a few tossed money in his violin case and didn’t even stick around to listen. He made $32. The fascinating part is that the violinist was no other than Joshua Bell, one of the greatest living musicians playing on a violin worth over 3.5 million dollars and it was shortly after a performance where seats went for about $100 each. If the commuters bothered to stop and listen, perhaps they would have realized that they were listening to something special. Perhaps if they had known they were listening to a master and someone famous, they would have considered it of higher value.
Beauty Ignored – What Else Are We Missing?
There are a couple of lessons to learn here. One is about social value – how people put a higher value on things that are labeled as high value, and without that label, they don’t appreciate what is being offered. The other lesson is one that I feel ties into what we can do for our children. The article says,
If we can’t take the time out of our lives to stay a moment and listen to one of the best musicians on Earth play some of the best music ever written; if the surge of modern life so overpowers us that we are deaf and blind to something like that — then what else are we missing?.
Wow. Think about that. “What else are we missing?“.
Beauty Discovered (and Rediscovered) – Our Children Outdoors
One of the delightful things about being around kids outdoors is that so many things in this world are still new to them. That sense of wonder is intact, they are not jaded by social labels of what is of high value and what is not. Perhaps we can learn something from our children, as well as teach something to them. Appreciate the little things that they find amazing and wondrous. That rock they want to carry around with them? Take a good look at it. Perhaps it’s got some cool colors or crystals, or has a wonderful smooth feel to it. Maybe there’s something beautifully symmetrical about the pine cone they picked up, or there is a soothing palette of colors in the autumn leaf they like. Take the time to appreciate the things of beauty that your children value in the great outdoors. Then we need to take the time to notice all the beautiful things that we value in nature when we take our children out into the great outdoors and share those things with them. “Look at how beautiful those branches are against the blue sky!” “I can’t believe there’s a flower still blooming so close to wintertime!” “I like the way you can see the trail go up and down like a ribbon over the hills.” “Wow, those stacked up picnic tables make cool patterns!” “Listen to that beautiful sounding bird song”.
Show them the beauty all around us, point out all the beauty we can discover if we take the time to observe, and they will grow up appreciating all the beauty around them – whether it be the color of the sunset, or the sound of a lone musician making beautiful music in a train station during rush hour.