“What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare.” ~ W.H. Davies …
What a miraculous world we live in. Each moment we are alive is filled with so much beauty and wonder–all we have to do is choose to see it, to let ourselves become painfully aware of just how blessed we truly are. The cold glass of water on a hot summer day; the hot bath or shower after a hard day’s work; the help and compassion of someone who cares; the comforting embrace of someone you love. When we slow down and allow ourselves the opportunity to truly experience the life we are living, the ordinary becomes rather extraordinary.
The following is a famous Washington Post experiment revealing just how much beauty we may miss in our rush through life.
On a chilly Friday morning in January–in the middle of rush hour at a D.C. metro station–world renowned violinist Joshua Bell participated in a staged experiment to see how hurried commuters would respond to encountering exquisite classical music played on an 18th century violin, by (unbeknownst to them) one of the finest classical musicians in the world. Would beauty transcend?
During the 43 minutes that Bell performed (in street clothes and a ball cap), 1,097 people passed by his location. While a few individuals eventually paused to listen more closely for a few moments, not once did Bell draw a crowd. A former child prodigy who filled concert halls in the week leading up to the experiment and whose performance time can command as much as $1,000 a minute, Bell counted a total of $32.17 in his violin case at the end of his performance! Each passerby on that Friday morning was presented with a choice: to stop and listen, or to hurry on past to their morning destination. Which would you choose?
Take a moment to become aware of the life you are living.
Questions to consider:
Why might people be willing to ignore a musician playing something quite beautiful?
How often do you stop to enjoy everyday things in your life?
What are some ways you could increase your awareness with the many different aspects of your life?
For further thought:
“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” ~ Omar Khayyam