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A FEW YEARS AGO Joshua Bell gave a concert in a Washington, DC subway station during rush hour.
Joshua had just won the Avery Fisher prize as the best classical musician in America. He was a two-time Grammy winner. In the subway he played some of the most elegant, beautiful music ever composed, and he played it on one of the most valuable musical instruments ever made–a $3 million Stradivarius violin.
It was free.
He was ignored.
One-thousand and ninety-seven people passed by. Seven stopped to listen.
He’s playing Carnegie Hall this week. The cheap seats are $96. Two $160 tickets are left.
How could people ignore him at the free concert?
No one connected the dots.
The subway concert was an unpublicized, anonymous performance. Joshua wore blue jeans and a ballcap. The audience was totally random, not classical music lovers. If you’re in your own world on your way to catch a train you have no reason to care.
He may be the most awesome violin player in the world, but to you he’s just a disconnected dot.
But you’d feel different if a friend ran up and grabbed your arm and gushed,
You’re not going to believe this! This world famous Grammy winner is playing a $3 million violin and he’s wearing jeans and a ballcap and playing for change in the subway! C’mon, let’s go see!
I’ll bet you’d get excited. You’d catch your friend’s passion and the whole idea would seem pretty cool. Now you got a reason to care. Now you got some context, some perspective. Now you’ve got to see this.
You connected the dots.
You could have missed out on some fun. Sometimes you miss bigger things.
When did you miss out–or almost miss out–on something significant because you failed to connect the dots?
If you’re reading this in email click HERE to go to the blog to see the video of Joshua in the subway. It’s less than 3 minutes.
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