Ever just stop and smell the roses?
It seems so many of us rush life, plan too much, get stuck in our safety net of routine, and lose track of the world around us.
We’re turning life into a cold, dark world that we rush through instead of enjoy.
I ran across a post Friday on a Facebook page called “F A C T” of a 2007 Washington Post story questioning how people in a busy Washington, D.C., mass transit station during their morning commute would react to world-renowned musician, Joshua Bell, playing there.
Days before the D.C. metro station appearance, Bell performed to packed crowds at Boston and Bethesda, Md., music halls, where tickets not only were rare, but ranged above $100 each.
Bell began with "Chaconne" from Johann Sebastian Bach's Partita No. 2 in D Minor.
It took 3 minutes and 63 passers-by before somebody even gawked their head toward Bell and his violin.
“A middle-age man altered his gait for a split second, turning his head to notice that there seemed to be some guy playing music,” the Post story said. “Yes, the man kept walking, but it was something.”
Six minutes into the performance, the Post said somebody finally stopped to acknowledge the music.
In the nearly 45-minute performance, seven people listened for at least 60 seconds and 27 passers-by dropped money into Bell’s violin case, according to the Post. So 1,070 people paid no attention to the classical music performance delivered by this superb and world-renowned musician.
In the Post story, Bell said he felt “strange” that people were ignoring his music.
"At a music hall, I'll get upset if someone coughs or if someone's cellphone goes off,” Bell told the Post. “But here (the D.C. metro station), my expectations quickly diminished. I started to appreciate any acknowledgment, even a slight glance up. I was oddly grateful when someone threw in a dollar instead of change."
The man who stopped six minutes into Bell’s performance told the Post he was “at peace” listening to the musician.
When one found out that Bell was a professional musician, his response was simple: “Damn.”
What’s most surprising might not be that people didn’t stop — it was, after all, rush hour in our nation’s capital — rather, it’s that most folks did not even give one glance to the musician.
"I'm surprised at the number of people who don't pay attention at all, as if I'm invisible,” Bell told the Post. “Because, you know what? I'm makin' a lot of noise!”
How often are we in similar situations as these mass transit commuters? Sometimes, it’s out of disgust that someone is rocking out on a musical instrument trying to earn a few bucks. Other times, we wish we could stop, but hate to break that routine or plan we’ve told ourselves is set in stone.
There is no doubt, I’d have had no idea who Bell was if I had been in that mass transit station. I would, however, like to think I’d have stopped to acknowledge the music — or at least enjoy the early morning performance.
So much goes on in the world around us, but we never know because we’re too busy looking beyond this moment.
We rush the Christmas season, we rush time with family and friends, we rush the week for the weekend, we move so quickly in the mall or park or at the beach — and we never have a goal in mind for why we’re rushing.
It makes me think of the country group Alabama’s song “I’m In A Hurry (And Don’t Know Why),” which opens with, “I'm in a hurry to get things done / Oh I rush and rush until life's no fun / All I really gotta do is live and die / But I'm in a hurry and don't know why.”
Maybe it’s about time we reverse this trend, dump the technology and appreciate our surroundings. There’s no need to rush and rush until life’s no fun. Because at the end of the day, what are you in a hurry for?
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Like this article? Check out other great pieces from the always insightful, Bobby Cherry: