Can people recognize a street musician through the fog of a D.C. rush hour and give his music esteem?
Joshua Bell, one of the finest classical musicians in the world, placed himself against a wall in a metro station in Washington, took his most valuable Stradivari violin and started to play some of the most elegant music ever written.
It was on Friday, January 12, 2007 in the middle of the morning rush hour. Joshua Bell performed six classical pieces in about 40 minutes while 1,097 persons passed by.
What happened? Did people have time for beauty? Did they acknowledge the music and give esteem toward the musician?
Out of over 1,000 passersby only 70 gave the street performer some money, most without stopping. Among the few people who stopped to listen most were children. The children actually caused their parents to listen also.
Joshua Bell said at the end: “It was a strange feeling, that people were actually, ah … ignoring me.”
Ignoring is the opposite of giving esteem.
Next time you see a street musician – even though it probably won’t be Joshua Bell, take time to listen and to give esteem.