In a Washington Metro station on a cold January morning, a man with a violin played six Bach pieces. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station.
After three minutes, a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds. Four minutes later, the violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and without stopping, continued to walk on. After six 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, keeping his head turned toward the violinist. This action was repeated by several other children but every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on.
45 minutes: Only six people had stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 had given money, but continued to walk on without pausing. The man collected a total of $32
One hour: He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was any recognition given. The Metro violinist was actually Joshua Bell, one of the best violinists of our time. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars and no one noticed.
Two days earlier, Joshua Bell had played to a sold out theatre in Boston with seat sales averaging $100. The Washington Post organized Bell’s Metro performance as part of a social experiment with questions: In a common place environment, at an inappropriate hour… do we take the time to perceive beauty?
(This was a “Mission Moment” shared by FR. Vince Herner, Director of Spiritual Care, Dec. 2009)
I too have watched a few videos on u-tube and have come across a few occasions like this. What amazes me is that the children wanted to take the time, but the “rushing” parents did not let them.
I decided when my grandchildren were born, I would be a better grandparent to them than my parents were to my children. Not only do we encourage “sleep overs”, baking and cooking time, strawberry picking times, Tinker Town times and 4-wheeler times…my husband went even further and built a Ginger Bread House, so that the little ones could have a place of their own to sleep in! (now all my hubby has to do is put a lock on the door…or they think won’t think coyotes will get them!)
My husband says these wee grandchildren “re-charge” him. He has them over to re-energize himself! And he never complains if I ask him to do something for the “kiddlets”.
Had I lived near to this violin player that day, I would have taken my bunch to see him! Opportunity knocks only once! Children are only small for such a short period of time. They grow up soooo fast. What one does with them NOW will forever be imprinted in their memory for many years to come.
Nothing can replace the “stories” the grandkids want to tell you about “remember when you (or Dedo) did ?that with us/me? ” This is greater than a mountain of gold to me.
My favorite time: Reading a book called “Wombat Stew” with 3 children leaning in on one side and 3 children leaning in on the other side…All reading with me, as I change my voice for all the characters and when we come to the chorus lines, 3 of them jump up and dance to the rhythm of the song. AND this keeps up until the story is done…no one leaves! This is indeed a Christmas Blessing for my heart!