I think the following social experiment (by The Washington Post) will surprise many. Tell me what will happen if you add this up:
What do you think would happen if he played for 43 minutes with his violin case open for donations?
If you answered he would make money, you are somewhat correct. He made $32.17 ($20 from the one woman who recognized him).
-But, his concert three days before the experiment sold out Boston’s Symphony Hall where the cheap seats were $100.
If you answered people would stop and listen, you are somewhat correct. Out of over 1,000 people that passed, only 7 stopped for a short time. There was never even a small crowd that formed.
-2 weeks later his concert was standing-room only in a nearby city.
Why can we not recognize beauty any longer? I believe it is for these reasons:
1 – We are too busy.
We think that there are other more “important” things to do. Yet how many hours are wasted on TV, Facebook, phones, etc.?
2 – We are too clouded in our thinking.
Our culture holds up the feeding of all of our appetites as the recipe for happiness. Think of what we are being sold on a daily basis – porn, materialism, relativism, etc. We have stifled the three things that lead to true happiness – truth, beauty, and goodness.
3 – We navel-gaze too much.
Navel-gazing = the are caring about ourselves alone. This means we are not a loving culture, because to love we must go beyond ourselves.
4 – We have lost the virtue of leisure:
Leisure isn’t just mindless pleasure outside of work. It is the act of thinking about things as they truly are. It involves contemplation and deep-thinking. Since we are a shallow people who do not pray, there is very little true leisure.
To stop and think about what is true is a great thing.
To stop and recognize beauty is a great thing.
To stop and find goodness is a great thing.
Don’t let another opportunity to do so pass you by.