“He emerged from the metro at the L’Enfant plaza station and positioned himself against a wall beside a trash basket. By most measures, he was nondescript: a youngish white man in jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt and a Washington Nationals baseball cap. From a small case, he removed a violin. Placing the open case at his feet, he shrewdly threw in a few dollars and pocket change as seed money, swiveled it to face pedestrian traffic, and began to play.”
This scene is all too familiar for those of us that work in an urban downtown area. Do we stop and listen or just hurry on about our business?
But wait, this was not your typical panhandler. No one knew it, but the fiddler standing against a bare wall was one of the finest classical musicians in the world. In fact, the musician was Joshua Bell. Whom just three days before he appeared at the Metro station, had filled the house at Boston’s stately Symphony Hall, where merely pretty good seats went for $100. The very violin that he played was worth more than most of the passer byes would make in their lifetime. The violin was handcrafted in 1713 by Antonio Stradivari and the price tag was reported to be about $3.5 million.
Joshua Bell, one of the worlds top classical musicians, equipped with his million dollar Stradivari violin played one of the most difficult violin pieces ever. AND THE WORLD WAS TOO BUSY TO NOTICE…
This experiment arranged by The Washington Post struck a cord in me. Probably because I fear that I would be one of the many that was too busy with life to see or hear the beauty that was right there in front of me.
This is one of the reasons for the less frequency of blog post these days. The other reason is the birth of my second child. In the words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
The life of a software developer is fast paced for sure, maybe that’s why they call them sprints in the Agile dev methodology. Make sure you are stopping from time to time to smell the roses or hear the music. Work to live. Don’t live to work…
Be sure to read the entire Washington Post experiment here. It’s well worth your time.