It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


What are we missing?

page: 1

log in


posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 01:25 PM
I received this by email and thought it was worth sharing with you all.
It's not a chain message, don't worry.


Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with
a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time
approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their
way to work.

After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He
slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his

4 minutes later:

The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat
and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes:

A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his
watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes:

A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid
stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the
child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was
repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced
their children to move on quickly.

45 minutes:

The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a
short while. About 20 gave money, but continued to walk at their normal

The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour:

He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded,
nor was there any recognition.


No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest
musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever
written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua
Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

Joshua Bell playing incognito in the Metro Station was
organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about
perception, taste, and people's priorities. The questions raised: "In a
common place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?
Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do
not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the
world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most
beautiful instruments ever made.... How many other things are we missing?

posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 01:35 PM
Too busy to reply with anything substantial. S&F - must run along.. bye.

posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 01:40 PM
reply to post by Geladinhu

Hmmm....What else could we be missing?Good question
but what do you mean by that?Do you mean some of the most beautiful music ever played or is it something more hidden more mysterious?

Anyway S and F

Cant wait to here what other people say about it

[edit on 17-8-2009 by Zeplin100]

posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 01:41 PM
reply to post by Geladinhu

I think this shows how we have been culturally shaped to become a "self-guided herd". It's like we stopped living for ourselves and learned that the only way to live is to follow rules and laws that we don't understand and that were created by someone that we don't really know.

The Western world has become senseless, completely zombified. Guided by unconscious fear, product of what I would call psychological terrorism and backed up by brainwashing propaganda.

When will we realize that we are here now? When will we realize that we have been traumatized? I hope and feel that the time is coming soon.

posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 01:46 PM
reply to post by Zeplin100

Personally I think the mysterious is beautiful and that beauty is mysterious.
I think we are missing both. I know by personal experience that sometimes it is difficult to see beauty, even though beauty is all there is. So what are we missing in order to see reality? To see this boundless and eternal beauty that permeates our existence?

posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 01:54 PM
reply to post by Geladinhu

I get it know

I think we are missing beautiful music not exactly the kind you hear in an mp3 player but the music of what is really there the beauty of life and our existence and i also hope that someday we will become aware of this and true enlightinment will come once again.

posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 03:37 PM
I think it demonstrates that we are indeed programmed to not give a rats butt about anything except what is on our plate right now. The children were all drawn to the music, or the performer, or both....but the adults were too busy. The children hadn't been programmed yet to tune out distractions that get in the way of getting where you need to be right now.

There is tremendous beauty around us every day, but we are too busy to stop and appreciate it. We are forced to be slaves to a clock, a baron, an ideal. Try telling your boss that you just HAD to stop at the train platform to listen to the 'most wonderful music you had ever heard.' Then I'm guessing you'll have plenty of time on your hands to appreciate the more beautiful things in life.

It also shows me that talent is worth a lot more to the layman when you get to rub your elbows with other snooty folks that all payed 100 bucks per ticket to show how refined they are.

...that 32 bucks an hour really isn't that bad....of course, not if you spent 3.5 million your tools...

It shows me that things in this world can be pretty ridiculous. If everyone in the united states gave me a dime, I would have enough to buy that guys violin. So please, everyone send me a dime. (but i'm not going to buy a violin) You can afford a dime.

Of course there is beauty all around us that we don't see all the time. It's not just us. "stop and smell the roses' is a pretty old piece of advice. If we stop to smell the rose, we'll get fired.

posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 03:52 PM
Amazing. I have to confess that I am one of those people who do not or try not to notice street performers. I know that others too when they were a youngest, were taught by their parents to give these type of performers no attention-especially money and keep walking.

It is unbelievable how many people cannot see beauty even when it is staring in one’s face. We continue on our path of so-called-life and society needs to slow down and appreciate life’s beauties. Without noticing beauty we cannot appreciate life to the fullest.

posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 04:36 PM
reply to post by KSPigpen

What if our job was to smell the roses? I think thats the way the world should be. People should do what they like and not what they are forced to do. It's like we've been slaves for so long that we don't even know what is freedom anymore.

I deeply believe that the world would work wonderfully if people just did what they liked. But we are so far away from that reality right now that people don't even know what they like. Its even worse than that, they believe in other people when those people tell them what they like. Its insane. And I think this insanity will make us explode soon.

posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 08:44 PM
We are missing the Truth...

That money is illusion, 9-5 is an illusion, hard work is an illusion.

"The Cicada and the Ant" story is just another falsehood!

Like the lie that "time is money", which is a very crap metaphor. "No pain, no gain"... my ass!

More about the power of metaphors and the explanation of "time is money" here:

[edit on 17-8-2009 by infobrazil]

[edit on 17-8-2009 by infobrazil]

posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 08:45 PM

Originally posted by Geladinhu
So what are we missing in order to see reality? To see this boundless and eternal beauty that permeates our existence?

Less self and other imposed contraints, and a healthy and functioning pineal gland. Barring that.. 12mg 5-MeO-'___', or lots and lots of meditation, to open the lotus flower that is the human mind.

posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 08:47 PM

Originally posted by Geladinhu
reply to post by KSPigpen

And I think this insanity will make us explode soon.

Yes, it makes you "pop" and then they call you insane..

posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 09:04 PM
reply to post by Geladinhu

That experiment was interesting.

I was on the treadmill too not long ago. These days though, I have nothing but time and it is still hard to "see" the beauty existing in every moment.

Appreciation is the source of beauty.
Thats what I think anyway.

posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 11:24 PM
reply to post by Hazelnut

Star, and Flag to the OP for a ****WONDERFUL**** thread.. I was hearing the music in my head....To the people that didn't stop??? Their deaths will be as trivial as they lived their lives.

That being said, I'm gonna toot my own horn here. I always take the time for something beautiful. We live in a day, and age where times can be very bleak, or death could come at a seconds notice; anything of beauty deserves pause.

posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 11:42 PM
Oh, wonderful thread!! Starred and flagged!!

We were discussing this on another site. I would have stopped and listened myself. I think that people are so caught up in living in the past or worrying about the future that they miss living in the now. We live in a fast-paced society, slaves to time and work. When do we allow ourselves to simply 'be'? We need to find a balance in life, to enjoy and nurture ourselves and nature.

When is the last time you truly listened to the song of birds, been near the ocean with its'crashing waves and crying gulls, picked a wildflower and really appreciated its' beauty? When is the last time you sat in a park with tall trees by a pond and wildlife? How long before you enjoy these things again? The changing seasons, one into the next and its' beauty and charm, do you celebrate life and its' changes? And what of family and friends? How much quality time do we spend in laughter and love?

posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 11:58 PM
Wonderful thread and OP, S & F

I starred Omega Point's first post .. lol .. because I believed it was a joke reflecting the behaviours of those who'd rushed past the musician in the subway . LOL
(laughing at myself here)

Then saw Omega Point's subsequent posts and realised ... yeah .. realised

Just one thing though. May not have any bearing on it ... but is to possible that the vast majority who passed straight past the musician were embarrassed ?

Here in Oz, I suspect that would be the case in many instances -- they'd walk straight by. People get embarrassed by what they consider the street musician's situation .. you know .. playing in the street 'must mean' that he's destitute. Followed by panic .. how to deal with this .. on the part of passers-by.

In our suburb, we don't see many street performers, but I've noticed that when there is one, people miss a step as they make their way down the footpath. I've seen it. And I think for one moment, they consider whether or not to retrace their steps or cross the street, rather than appear better-off (than the street performer) or rather than embarrass him/her by witnessing their predicament. You see the same when people are collecting for charity or whatever in the street -- quite often, people will duck into a shop as a way of avoiding the collectors and in order to gather their own composure. We're not all that familiar with street performers in Oz (apart from in the major cities) and tend to find it awkward.

Maybe I'm completely wrong. But I do know that I don't know how to react, quite often when confronted by a street performer. Usually I go into a shop to check to see if I have enough change to put in the hat or box or whatever. Then, I try to approach the collection recepticle as unobtrusively as possible, in order to deposit money without being obvious about it.

I never know if the performer wants to acknowledge me or not. I don't want to offend their pride. If they glance at me, I smile as in 'Well done .. very nice .. hope you have a lovely day'. If they're engrossed in their performance, I try to be invisible and just deposit the money and slip back into the passing stream of people.

Many times, I've initially walked past the performer, being careful not to gawk, after which (after retrieving money or getting change of a large denomination note in a shop) I'll retrace my steps, pass the performer again from an angle that will get me to the collection box without attracting undue attention. Then I'll deposit the money and move away.

So, maybe many of those who appeared to ignore the performer in the OP were suffering similar mental quandries and just didn't know how to deal with the situation, making it easier for them to pretend they were 'busy' ?

Another explanation might be that those who walked straight past the performer in the OP might have already given to two or three street performers in the past half hour.

posted on Aug, 18 2009 @ 12:06 AM
A friend of mine one time commented that as he has gotten older that it seems time is speeding up and that the world is not as magical as it was when he was younger.

I told him that the difference was that he no longer saw the world as new and wonderful, it is not that time is speeding up or that the world is any less a magical place it is you who has lost your eye for magic.

He looked at me questioningly and I told him; "look now at the wind blowing through those distant trees and feel the wind on your face like you did as a child."

He and I both did this and we could both feel that newness of the world as when we were younger. We both smiled and listened to the blowing wind for a moment.

Then the light changed and we made a mad dash to pick up the girls before the concert started and just kind of laughed at how the world changes us until we remember to change ourselves back again.

posted on Aug, 18 2009 @ 12:16 AM
reply to post by St Vaast

Well, from my understanding street performances seem to be something that happens quite often in that area. I don't know, thats what I think. And if thats the case I'm quite sure the people around there already have an idea of what to do with them and how to behave in relation to them.

Anyhow, I have a question for you. Why do you feel embarrassed? Why do you think people would feel embarrassed with the situation? I mean, what I do is stop if its of any interest of mine. I don't really care about other peoples condition. I believe everybody is responsible for their own condition. If I enjoy the music than I might donate something. I don't get nervous because of not knowing what to do. Why do you have to know how to do something simple like stopping to listen music that a stranger is playing?

Do you feel responsible somehow for their condition? How is that possible? Maybe, just maybe you know deeply that you are indeed responsible for not being responsible even for your own situation, that way being completely complacent to rules and orders that you never really liked. Those street performers could remind you then of the things that you really don't like but try to not think about. It's a kind of emotional escapism, maybe? I don't know if that makes any sense to you, I'm just trying to understand the situation. Perhaps you could explain the situation better.

posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 12:05 AM

Originally posted by Geladinhu
reply to post by Geladinhu

I think this shows how we have been culturally shaped to become a "self-guided herd". It's like we stopped living for ourselves and learned that the only way to live is to follow rules and laws that we don't understand and that were created by someone that we don't really know.

Hence the term "sheeple."

posted on Aug, 24 2009 @ 11:59 AM
thanks sooooo much for that post.... amazing.
its sad to say i can believe that that would have happened.

it was like when someone got monkeys to paint a piece of art and it went on sale at auction for millions.. as they thought it was a famous surrealist artist who had painted it!!!!


i love listening to the music.. it was beautiful

thanks again
love and light

new topics

top topics


log in