In the winter of 2007, the Washington Post set out to do a social experiment about perception, taste, and people’s priorities. They hired a man to play a violin for one hour inside a metro stop on a busy workday morning. He selected several classical pieces and found a place to play. In front of him was a basket for donations.
What the by-passers didn’t know was that they were listening to a world renowned violinist by the name of Joshua Bell. The violin he was using was worth $3.5 million dollars. Just a couple of days earlier, Bell had a sold-out performance in Boston where the cheapest seats cost $100. During his metro performance, only a handful of people stopped to listen. Children were most often interested, but usually hurried along by their parents. In total, he collected $32.00 in donations.
How often do we walk past or overlook talent, giftedness, creativity and beauty without noticing it? Do we recognize talent when it shows up in unexpected places? Can we stop to experience it once we hear it or see it? Do we appreciate the everyday beauty all around us?
The opening verse of the Bible says, “In the beginning God created.” (Genesis 1:1) God created the beauty of this world and the heavens declare his glory. He also created us in his image, which among other things means we are creative people. Beauty is all around us: in the creation that God has made and in the gifts and talents of people created in his image. It’s never far from us, but often we are too busy to stop and appreciate it. So take a moment today and look for something beautiful. It’s right there.