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Washington Post Experiment: Would You Stop to Listen?

Updated on February 25, 2010

Joshua Bell is one of the worlds most famous musicians, who’s played the violin since the age of four. The Washington Post did an experiment with Bell using his handcrafted violin (reportedly priced at $3.5 million). He stood at a metro station in Washington D.C. playing classical music for 43 minutes. 6 minutes into playing and only one man stopped and stood against the wall to listen, but never a crowd. In his total time there, 1,097 people had passed him by. Some tossed quarters, some slowed down a bit, then kept walking.

There was one thing consistent. Every child that walked by tried to stop and watch, but their parent would keep tugging them along hurredly. This article brought to my attention the fact that yes, most of us are too busy to “stop and smell the roses”. Life though rough at times, is truly precious. Sometimes it’s hard to slow down and stop to see or hear all the beauty around us. All those people that just walked by like ghosts, what else in life are they missing? I have to admit that there's a chance that I myself might've just walked right by this amazing talent, being too consumed in what was in my head at the time. This story inspires me to continually seek and be more open to the random beauty that lies in sometimes the most unexpected places.

Add Joshua Bell to your classical collection


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