A man stood in a metro station in Washington DC and started to play his violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.
Three minutes went by, and a middle aged man noticed the music. He slowed his pace and even stopped for a few seconds, then sped up to meet his schedule.
A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman who threw the money in the till as she walked by.
A few minutes later, a man briefly leaned against a wall to listen, but looked at his watch and moved on.
One who did pay close attention was a little boy. His mother tried to hurry him along but the kid wanted to listen to the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard and the boy left with her, looking back all the while. This action was repeated by several other children who listened until forced to move on by their parents.
In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped to listen. About 20 gave him money and he ultimately collected $32. When he finished playing only a few noticed and only one or two applauded.
The violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best in the world. He had just played some of the most challenging pieces written for the violin - on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars!
Two days before the concert in the subway, Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.
This is a true story. One of the best violinists in the world played some of the greatest music ever written, on a multi million dollar violin, before hundreds of people - only a few of whom were not too busy to see or hear the wonder that had landed in front of them.