Something to ponder

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by Erich, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    13,090
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Platonic Sphere
    maybe we all can just slow down abit in 2009

    from a forward from a relative this morn ...........

    A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

    Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule

    A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

    A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again Clearly he was late for work.

    The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

    In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

    No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

    Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

    This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

    One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

    If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,727
    Likes Received:
    1,423
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Strange nature of the human!
     
  3. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    15,221
    Likes Received:
    2,050
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Public Safety Automotive Technician
    Location:
    Redding, California
    Home Page:
    Wow...isn't that something?

    I do agree that we (Americans) are too uptight. Moreso on the east coast than on the west, but as a whole, we need to learn how to take it down a notch and enjoy stuff more often.
     
  4. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,208
    Likes Received:
    790
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Great post Erich and how true!!!
     
  5. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    12,162
    Likes Received:
    123
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    The back of beyond
    Thanks for that Erich.

    It's very sad, but it is true that our daily lives seem so busy and our own concerns so important to us (but to noone else usually) that we don't even stop now and again to enjoy or appreciate the very things that would make our day more tolerable... or more simply put, we spend too much time worrying about the negative things, to notice the positive...
     
  6. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    36,730
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Nightshift picker
    Location:
    A Swede living in Glasgow, Scotland
    Home Page:
    Sad but true Erich, sad but true....thanks for posting.
     
  7. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    41,790
    Likes Received:
    519
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Doctor
    Location:
    Portsmouth / Royal Deeside, UK
    Home Page:
    Yes, sad but true. Excellent post Erich, thanks for sharing.
     
  8. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Messages:
    3,099
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Substitute teacher; graduate student
    Location:
    Connecticut, United States
    Excellent post Erich, it's true that people are too busy to stop and appreciate life. I believe Ferris Bueller said it best, " Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
     
  9. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    3,541
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Engineer and overgrown schoolboy
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Believe me, it's not just you guys...
     
  10. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    3,541
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Engineer and overgrown schoolboy
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Like capitalism for example
    it's gone far beyond oiling the wheels of our society, it's become an end in itself; we chase it far too hard, profits, financial deadlines, they rob us of our leisure time, tear us away from our families, chip away at our health and blinker us from what's really important.

    Far from capitalism serving society, the two seem to have become indistinguishable; the whole sick parody is that it has inverted itself, we now serve capitalism rather than it serving us, such is the magnitude of what is asks of us, the sacrifices it demands. Never enough hours in the day.

    And look where we are today, globally, mega-corporations and financial institutions having billions pumped into them like some bizarre, gigantic self-infused blood transfusion, pumping the revenues of our greed back into the very systems that produced them, in some desperate attempt to stay upright.

    Companies going to the wall daily, ordinary, decent people losing jobs, then homes.

    When all we needed to do was look up when we heard the sound of a violin played beautifully. And appreciate it.
     
  11. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    15,221
    Likes Received:
    2,050
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Public Safety Automotive Technician
    Location:
    Redding, California
    Home Page:
    Well said, Colin!
     
  12. muller

    muller Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,546
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Hibernia
    Prince did something similar in London a few years ago, he dressed up as bum and busked with a guitar in Hyde Park, nobody stopped to listen either.
     
  13. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    7,731
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Student, Musician, Writer, Thinker, Shelf Stacker...
    Location:
    Melbourne, Victoria
    It's also a reflection on modern perceptions of music.

    Music is now visually driven even more so than aurally. This same experiment was done a number of years ago in Australia with one of worlds leading guitarists Tommy Emanuel. Again he played with little recognition from passersby.


    Again it's also the group mentality like ' if no one else has stopped to listen it must not be any good'.

    Good points guys and most definately slowing down is something that needs to be practised more!
     
  14. magnocain

    magnocain Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Wait a sec... GrauGeist... you are from Redding? I used to live there and go there often (enough). Its a small world.
     
  15. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,592
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    IT
    Location:
    Hurst, Texas
    'Tis a sad sad world we live in, yes. I've got a poem someone gave me once along these lines, I'll try to find it and post it, if nobody minds.
     
  16. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    13,090
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Platonic Sphere
    go ahead Rabid, after messing with numerous phone calls about my in-laws this past week and this week, yes it is time for me to reflect and adjust my insane business schedule as it is going to be necessary to visit in-laws to the north that might not have much time left on this earth

    the old saying is true " life is short " ~ breathe in breathe out, time for a break in my life ~
     
  17. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,592
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    IT
    Location:
    Hurst, Texas
    Its kinda long, but the guy's writing style makes it more like a story than a poem. His stuff's pretty good!










    NELLIE’S TALE

    It happened on a cloudy day,
    a damp chill in the air,
    the fog a shroud along the shores
    to cover all that’s there.

    I wandered by the river’s side
    as it, uncaring, made
    its way, so inexorable,
    into the windswept bay.

    My thoughts a-tumble: just that week
    momentous tidings came,
    promotions, raises offered me,
    a chance to make my name.

    But few glad tidings come along
    without a string attached:
    across the country I must move
    my life, picked up, detached

    from all I know and care about
    and elsewhere start anew.
    Decisions weigh upon my mind…
    what would my conscience do?

    Uproot for now in search of wealth
    and fame, security?
    Or let this pass, remain behind
    with Her, who cares for me?

    A fallen log near beckons me
    and so I rest awhile
    to gather up my spinning thoughts
    from out their jumbled pile.

    I presently became aware
    that I was not alone!
    I did not hear her soft approach
    beneath the windy moan.

    Indeed, until she softly spoke
    I knew not she was there:
    one moment she was sitting where
    before the log was bare.

    “You ponder deeply, my young friend,”
    the silence she did break,
    her voice so quiet and so soft
    I leaned forth as she spake.

    “Perchance ye will indulge me now,
    a woman old in years,
    to give a bit of my advice
    if ye have willing ears?”

    She turned to me her piercing gaze
    as if to seek assent,
    and, mesmerized, I nodded once
    as, speaking, on she went.

    “Ye face before ye now a choice,
    ‘tis difficult to choose
    for on this hinges all thy Life:
    ye could gain all. Or lose

    “all that ye’ve striven to achieve
    for lo these many years.
    They heart is heavy, thoughts a-mess
    weighed down by countless fears.

    “Thy fortune, fame, and rich success
    do lie down yonder road
    if ye do say but one small word
    and shoulder now this Load.

    “Along the other path I see
    there waits obscurity.
    Thy wealth is nonexistent there,
    and yet, thy heart is free.

    “Allow me now to tell a tale,
    t’was old before thy day,
    but heed now what I speak to thee,
    and close attention pay.

    “For once there lived a man like thee,
    with choices to be made.
    I now shall tell of what he did
    and of the price he paid.

    “A simple man with dreams of more,
    he worked and saved and planned,
    and by the ev’ning’s fireplace
    he held his True Love’s hand.

    “He promised her his love unchecked
    and held back not a part
    of his own strong, courageous, brave
    and stoutly trusting heart.

    “She, in return, gave unto him
    her heart and soul, her all.
    They swore that they would never part,
    their love would never pall.

    “As days did pass their love did grow
    into a wond’rous thing!
    And even in the deepest cold
    of Night, t’would feel like Spring!

    “But deep inside he did despair
    and spake his fears to her:
    that she would have to pass her days
    upon this mortal earth

    “without the riches she deserved
    and that he longed to give.
    And so he gave his oath to her:
    as long as he did live

    “his conscience would not let him ask
    for her dear loving hand
    unless he could remove her to
    a better promised land.

    “She begged him not to journey off,
    she loved him as he was.
    She plead with all her stricken heart,
    tears tracking through the dust

    “upon her cheeks so pale and wan,
    like ashes on her head.
    Her spirit reeled that day he left,
    died when she heard him dead.

    “The folk in town, they did their best
    to ease her grieving pain
    God bless their souls! But Nellie died
    and they did strive in vain.

    “Oh, she lived on for many years
    beyond that telegram
    that brought the news from far away,
    the passing of her Sam.

    “A choice was made, a path was trod,
    and there for fifteen years
    she waited for her man to come
    and wipe away her tears.

    “But naught was ever good enough,
    so went his reasoning.
    He threw his life into the chase
    of his elusive dream

    “until the day he met his end
    and took unto his grave
    his wealth, his honors, and his name,
    but none his heart could save.

    “And so, my friend, ye face a choice
    that ye this day must make.
    Consider well my poor Sam’s tale
    before it be too late.”

    I sat there staring at the fog.
    How long? I do not know.
    But lost in thought I did not hear
    her rise, nor turn to go.

    Now presently, I made my way
    back to my simple town,
    back to the office did I walk,
    before my boss sat down.

    “I think that I, regretfully,
    your offer must decline,”
    I said to him with all my heart.
    “Its simply not the time.

    “For I must follow my Heart’s path
    and go where Conscience leads,
    and if this causes problems, sir,
    you’ve my apologies.”

    Formalities were said and done,
    my job remained intact.
    I left the office building then,
    upon my choice to act.

    And looking back unto this day,
    ‘tis one I don’t regret.
    For though we are not blessed with wealth
    we live without a debt,

    and more important, yes, by far,
    our lives are full of Love
    for which I daily thank the Lord
    in Heaven up Above.

    One thing remains about that day
    I still can’t comprehend…
    poor Nellie’s steadfast love for Sam
    could not be shaken, bent:

    a love so strong to conquer all,
    enduring ev’ry blow
    and still remains, though Nellie died
    two hundred years ago.

    -jkl
    04/24/2003
     
  18. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    3,541
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Engineer and overgrown schoolboy
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Beautiful
    with a haunting element of truth
     
  19. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Messages:
    2,708
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Sales for Karl Performance
    Location:
    Ankeny, Iowa
    Home Page:
    I enjoy visiting my grandma's small farm in Northern Iowa, near Clear Lake. My 2 favorite uncles inherited after my grandma passed on. I love going there to relax and get away. I am flooded with memories of the 30 years I have spent there through the years growing up. My favorite place on Earth.
     
Loading...

Share This Page