Friday, February 26, 2010

Perception and Unsolicited Racing Advice...



I received this message in an e-mail this morning thought it was worth passing along...

"PERCEPTION. . . Something To Think About.. . .
Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007.

The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later: The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes: A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes:A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

45 minutes:The musician played continuously.
Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while.
About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace.
The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour:He finished playing and silence took over.

No one noticed.. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition. No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest 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 Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.

The questions raised:
*In a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?
*Do we stop to appreciate it?
*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made. How many other things are we missing?"

Unsolicited advice on running a race from an old dog (unless you are planning on being first, or close to first, to cross the finish line):

  • Start at the back of the pack. You won't get caught up in someone else's folly... you may have to dodge strollers and walkers... but, you will be able to choose your own pace.
  • Run your first mile slower than your desired race pace.
  • Run your first mile slower than your desired race pace... yes, it is that important.
  • Don't let yourself get sucked into or pushed out too fast. Find your own pace... listen to your body. If you can give it that first mile, it will give you the rest of the race.
  • Enjoy every minute!! You'll be running negative splits and passing others all the way to the finish line! I am sooooo looking forward to hearing about some of these runs! Vicarious fun!

17 comments:

Deb said...

isn't that hard to believe...everyone didn't even notice (expect for the children) what beautiful music he was playing...they missed a chance of a life time...a free show...nice post...

kim said...

Great story about the violinist and run on my friend, run on.

Lauri said...

Our church showed a YouTube video about this experiment and it was very thought-provoking!

Stacey at Living by Faith said...

Thanks for the advice on running! I would say that it came at impeccable timing since tomorrow is the day!!

nanny said...

What a great story...the children recognized the beauty....only to be pushed along!

I'll make sure the runners read your post tonight!!! Sounds like very good advice.

linda said...

What an amazing story about the violinist and so true. We don't stop to smell the roses often enough!

Thank you for sharing this great story.

Lisa said...

Truly amazing story. I wonder if anyone at the Metro Station that day ever realized what had happened.

Solar Powered said...

Oh I love this, I got chills! I want to those questions to be incorporated into my mission Thrive goals. Thanks for the thoughts. As for the race advice, thank you! No, I'm not pushing for first just to cross. In thinking, last Sunday, I ran very slow to start...maybe that's why it was such a good run. Thank you, I will use this.

Solar Powered said...

Oh I love this, I got chills! I want to those questions to be incorporated into my mission Thrive goals. Thanks for the thoughts. As for the race advice, thank you! No, I'm not pushing for first just to cross. In thinking, last Sunday, I ran very slow to start...maybe that's why it was such a good run. Thank you, I will use this.

Tammy at Tattered and Timeless said...

That is sad no on noticed him. It also lends itself to the proof of taking music and the arts out of our schools has had detrimental effects on us as humans. We just dont' tend to see beauty anymore. We have become jaded.

Good luck on your run..

Tara said...

I believe I would of stopped because I just love music so much and appreciate talent.
That is the main reason I don't think I could ever live in a big city.
Thanks for sharing that story.
Hugs,
Tara

Christine said...

Love the story...
Love the advice!

Jill said...

HERE! HERE! I love this...and the fact that we/I miss so much! WHY? What is it that I have that is SO MUCH BETTER to do??

Thanks for the inspiration.

Janera said...

Amazing story! Thanks for sharing it.

Jennifer said...

Being a Cancer survivor, this post is lovely to me - I wish people would take the time to enjoy the beauty of Life... it is such a gift! Thank you for this wonderful post. Jennifer

Terri Smith said...

What an outstanding story! Thank you so much for taking the time to share it. It truly GOT MY ATTENTION! I'm printing it once I complete this message. Will keep it near in the days to come! Thank you again!

Blessings and sunshine, Terri

kim said...

Noni, I have something for you at my blog.

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Numbers 6:24-26

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.