"We lose life itself"
Translated from Russian:
On a cold January morning by a Washington metro station a man stood and played a violin. In 45 minutes he played 6 different pieces. During this time, the rush hour, more than a thousand people passed him by, most of them on their way to work.
During these 45 minutes only six people stopped and listened. Another 20, without stopping, gave money. The musician earned $32. None of the passerby knew that the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most difficult pieces ever written, and the instrument was the violin of Stradivari, worth $3.5 million. Two days prior to his performance at the metro station, his concert in Boston, where the average ticket price was $100, was sold out.
Joshua Bell's performance at the metro stop was part of a social experiment staged by Washington Post about people's perceptions, tastes and priorities, whose question was: Do we sense beauty in the passing moments of daily life? Do we stop and appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected situation?
One of the results of this experiment may be this: If we can't find the time to stop for a while and listen one of the best musical pieces ever written, performed by one of the greatest musicians on the planet; if the pace of the contemporary life has become so brisk, that we are blind and deaf to such things; then for what purpose do we need such a life? For what purpose is to us the chase for external values? And what do we lose in such an insane race?
The answer is one: We lose life itself.