A Christmas Thought or Two…

This will be part of the program for our Fellowship Breakfast…

This story has been making its way around the Internet… I’ve researched it some and it appears to be based on truth. I suspect some “editorial license” was taken in the version I received… and I’ve taken a little more!

He earned $32 for an hour's work. Not bad!

A relatively plain looking man showed up at Washington DC’s Metro Station one cold January morning. He carried a violin and without much fanfare played six Bach pieces that lasted about forty-five minutes. An estimated two thousand people passed this street musician.

After only three minutes of playing, one middle-aged man slowed to listen, stopped for a few seconds and hurried on. The street musician received his first dollar from a woman who didn’t stop.

As his “gig” continued, people reacted in various ways… Most barely noticed him. Many times children would notice and try to watch, but their parents would tug and hurry them along.

When he finished playing no one applauded. Few noticed him playing, no one noticed he stopped. When he collected the money from his case, he had $32—not bad for an hour’s work.

Of course what no one knew was the street musician was actually Joshua Bell, one of the most acclaimed musicians in the world. He’d played one of Bach’s most intricate pieces on a violin worth an estimated three million dollars. Just two days prior he had played the same piece on the same violin in a theatre in Boston where the average ticket price was $100.

The “concert” at Metro Station was a bit of a social experiment, organized by the Washington Post to establish some thoughts regarding peoples’ priorities and perceptions.

Nearly two thousand people “missed” talent and beauty because they were in a hurry and it was offered in a place and at a time when they didn’t expect it.

And now it’s the Christmas Season, a season that increases our expectations. We expect to give (and get) gifts. We expect to exchange greetings. We expect to feel some sense of joy and peace that we don’t the rest of the year.

But I wonder. Even with our heightened expectations, what are we going to miss? How much talent and beauty will we not notice?