Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Are our Fast-Paced Lives
Making us Deaf, Dumb & Blind?

Image Montage by PeapodLife: Washington Metro commuters miss out on virtuoso performance;
Source: facebook.com: Facebook - Liberty Girl's Photos
Inset: Joshua Bell: one of the world’s great instrumental soloists. Photograph: Linda Nylind; 

Are we so absorbed in rushing around, so busy “doing,” that we could miss one of the world’s great violinists, Joshua Bell, give an impromptu performance in the Washington Metro? Apparently so.

It started off like any other rush hour in Washington DC...

Then a man sat down in the subway and began playing the violin. Not unusual per se. Busking is a common fixture just about wherever you go.

Over a 45-minute period the man played six Bach pieces. During that time it is estimated some 1,100 people went through the station; only six of them stopped and listened for a while. About 20 gave him money.

He seemed to receive the most attention from children, including a three-year-old boy who was dragged away by his mother (like most of the others).

The man was Joshua Bell, one of the world’s great virtuoso violinists. His serenade of Bach was courtesy of a $3.5 million dollar violin. Who knew? No one. Well, no one in the metro station, anyway.

If only they could have known Joshua Bell played a sold-out concert in Boston just two nights before his free subway performance in Washington. Average price of admission? $100.

But they didn’t know. Deaf, dumb and blind to the beauty, artistry right in front of them, hundreds upon hundreds of people missed an opportunity of a lifetime.

Image: Blind, deaf & dumb by Nancy Calef

Modern society is so obsessed with creating opportunity. We think we have to do it. We are bombarded from every angle with every conceivable message of “what it takes” to be successful: win; beat the other guy; long hours and hard work are the earmarks of the linear mathematical equation for happiness.

So we slave away. We stay connected: 24/7...and we freak when we misplace our phone. “Well, I might miss an important call!!!”  Yeah, because your device’s voicemail will fail you the one time you need it to work, right? 

We stress, sweat, binge, suck back coffee like it was oxygen. And let’s not even get into some of the stronger drugs we use to douse the flames of insanity. Look no further than Martin Sorcesse’s The Wolf of Wall Street for a glimpse into just how insanely stressful and manic the world of success can be.

Image: The Wolf of Wall Street (does this look like someone at their best)?

We do all that (to one degree or another), and never ask ourselves what we may be missing as a consequence. But rather than taking our cues from the surreal world of The Wolf, perhaps we’d do better to heed the advice of golfer Walter Hagen, who said:
“You're only here for a short visit. Don't hurry. Don't worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” 
~ The Walter Hagen Story


It was good advice in 1956, and was never more poignant than now.

Okay, we’re not saying if you slow down, unplug and pay attention you’re going to run into a superstar musician on the street…but you might. Or perhaps you’ll notice something new and wonderful about your spouse, your partner, your friend, your pet, that fills your heart with real joy and bliss.

Perhaps slowing down and taking your time will allow the multi-million-dollar idea you’ve been searching for to just “show up.” Perhaps you’ll discover you had been looking for it in all the wrong places. (Legend has it, E=MC² came to Einstein in the bubble bath).

So go ahead: take a bath. A long shower. A relaxing massage. Meditate. Listen to a WHOLE ALBUM, beginning to end, no interruptions or distractions. Stop trying to make something happen by doing and start being in the middle of what’s already there; experience what’s already happening...within you.

Now imagine what you might discover in the midst of your very own rainforest ecosystem. A living community of collective harmony and symbiosis. Each and every individual in a beautiful dance of perfect balancing, with you as their focus.

Imagine yourself unabsorbed by all the craziness of the world; and instead, completely absorbed into the peace, harmony and lucidity of life in its highest, calmest, most vivid yet peaceful expression.

See. Hear. Be brilliant…like a child in the metro who can recognize the sounds of a virtuoso musician and his multi-million dollar violin…once more.

Youtube Video: Stop and Hear the Music
Uploaded by Washington Post



No comments:

Post a Comment