The man, standing beside a trash can at the Metro station in Washington DC a little over 5 years ago, wore jeans, a tee-shirt and baseball hat. He took out a violin and began to play six classical pieces, leaving the case open by his feet as a street musician would do for donations.
During his 43 minute performance, over a thousand people passed by. Only 7 paused for a moment to listen Altogether,he collected only $32 for his performance.The man was Joshua Bell, one of today’s most famous violinists, playing six pieces that are considered the best classical pieces written for violin, on one of the most expensive instruments available – the same one he uses in his concert performances.
The stunt, proposed by the Washington Post as a social experiment about five years ago, sends a strong message to us about our interactions with people. Prior to the experiment, Bell believed he would at least draw a small crowd. He never expected to have to work so hard for such little recognition.
We pass by many people every day and never even see them. What would the world be like if we worked a little harder to acknowledge their presence with a smile or a kind word? Or if we stopped to take delight in the music of their lives?
Lord, help me see, hear and love others as you do. Amen.