Looking For Beauty in All the Wrong Places

Anyone who lives, or has lived, in a major city has surely encountered a street performer during the hustle and bustle of their daily commute. Most of us, however, are usually oblivious to the sounds coming from these street performers because we’re in a frantic rush to get to work on time. After-all, those papers on our desks aren’t going to shuffle themselves. I suspect that very few of us ever stop to think about what we may be missing out in our haste.

Here’s a question: Do you think you would notice if you saw a world-class musician, say Joshua Bell, performing during your commute to work? I recently stumbled across a wonderful article in The Washington Post titled “Pearls Before Breakfast” and according to the social experiment referenced in the article, most of us wouldn’t. Clearly many of us (myself included) fail to recognize talent and beauty in unexpected places. Yet, in a different context many of these same people would pay exorbitant amounts of money to see, say, Joshua Bell play at a prestigious venue.

It’s sad to think that most of us are so “busy” that we do not have the time in our day to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world play for free. We mistakenly confuse busyness with business. It’s also sad to think that we’re unlikely to appreciate beauty in everyday places and that we fail to recognize talent if we don’t think the performer has credentials. As such, I’m left to wonder what beautiful things I’m potentially missing today.