Are you aware of the fact that you may have missed a miracle or two on your way to work or school today? When last did you stop to smell the roses? Count any blessings lately?
There are many things that may be considered as lacking in the world today, and there are many lightworkers, dreamers and spiritual activists who make every effort to remind us of these missing elements. But one aspect that is too seldom addressed is our lack of true appreciation and gratitude. Spiritual seekers tend to be very keen to beat the drum of abundance – which is too often merely a thinly disguised obsession with material wealth and earthly comforts. We simply take too much for granted every day; blessings of Joy, Beauty and Divine Grace are seldom acknowledged in our lives. How spiritually aware can we truly be if we hardly ever stop to smell the roses?
Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten created this interesting social experiment, with the assistance of renowned violinist Joshua Bell. He wanted to find out if people would notice music played by a celebrated artist, compared to that of an ordinary street musician. Would they even bother to stop and listen?
Joshua Bell was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize in 2007 and has sold more than 5 million copies of his first recording, which remained at the top of the classical music chart for over 50 weeks. Surely, a classical instrumentalist of his caliber performing in public would instantly be noticed, or even recognized by some people. But sadly that never happened.
Bell played for 45 minutes at L’Enfant Plaza in Washington, D.C. on January 12, 2007. More than a 1000 people passed by in that short period, and they all basically ignored the virtuoso. Only seven people stopped for a moment to listen, and only one recognized him at all. Bell collected a whopping $32.17 from 27 charitable passersby.
The email that has been circulating reads as follows:
Sources: Gene Weingarten, The Washington Post ; Barbara and David P. Mikkelson, Snopes.com; David Emery, About.com; Image courtesy of Joshua Bell.com