What else are we missing?
Anyway the reason for this rather hurried post was this article that I read in the Washington Post in the morning (Hat tip: Mohit). The first time I read it, I went through the whole thing at an incredible speed, devouring every word in absolute disbelief. It seemed preposterous that something like this could happen. In the heart of D.C. During rush hour with hundreds of thousands of morning commuters filing past him. I was shocked to say the least.
To quote bits from the article that caught my attention:
This is from a man whose talents can command $1,000 a minute.
And the interesting bit:
And the reason?
"Couple of years ago, a homeless guy died right there. He just lay down there and died. The police came, an ambulance came, and no one even stopped to see or slowed down to look.
People walk up the escalator, they look straight ahead. Mind your own business, eyes forward. Everyone is stressed. Do you know what I mean?"
We're busy. Americans have been busy, as a people, since at least 1831, when a young French sociologist named Alexis de Tocqueville visited the States and found himself impressed, bemused and slightly dismayed at the degree to which people were driven, to the exclusion of everything else, by hard work and the accumulation of wealth.
If we can't take the time out of our lives to stay a moment and listen to one of the best musicians on Earth play some of the best music ever written; if the surge of modern life so overpowers us that we are deaf and blind to something like that -- then what else are we missing?
I have since gone back and re-read the article atleast five times. Poring over each word. Checking out the video clips. Watching the way people were reacting. And asking myself the million dollar question. What if I had been there? I have passed the station a hundred times at least when I used to commute to work by the Metro. Would I have stopped in the middle of my mad morning rush when I heard a familiar tune? Would I have recognized my all time favorite artist even if it seemed like the most impossible thing in the world? Would I stand there in awe and disbelief and be able to talk to Joshua Bell? Up close and personal. Seems too good to be true. But it actually happened. And as I write this I am convinced that I would know him. Anywhere. Even in the middle of L' Enfant Plaza Metro station on a weekday morning.
But then again. We will never know, shall we?