Saturday, August 29, 2009

Interesting Point to Ponder

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

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Soap Box Derby

This weekend was the local fair in our town. Our son Jeff wanted to race a soap box derby car last year but we didn't know about the event until after it was too late to make a car . This year he was excited to build a car and join in the fun of racing. The kids are guided through a process of choosing a style and a paint job and the men that run the soap box derby do all the cutting and painting for the young kids. After their car is built then they get to register and choose a number and then the car is weighed in and the next day all the kids come back for the big race event.
We had never watched a derby before and it was fun to see all kids get excited and have fun with their derby race cars. There were a total of about 90 cars entered in the race and Jeffy was #86. Jeff was also excited to be a part of the action and when he finally got to do his first race he was all smiles. His race car was FAST! After the first heat of racing Jeff was in second place!
All the cars got to race four times and then at the end they took each cars average and then the fastest four cars were the winners. Jeff was second place in the first, second and third heat but had a slower final race and still managed to hold on to fourth place overall. Way to go Jeff!
After they were finished, the top four kids each received a trophy and had their pictures taken.

(Wouldn't be surprised if I look in on him tonight and find him sleeping with his trophy)