Don’t Forget – It’s Not About The Money

Joshua BellThis story has nothing to do with personal finance, but I’m going to find a way to make it relate in some way because it’s just that good of a read. It also puts forth the question of why we are trying to earn all that money in the first place…

Joshua Bell, one of the best violinists in the world who makes $1000 a minute at his trade, decided to street perform in Washington DC using a $3.5 million violin. Guess what happened – he was ignored for 45 minutes of playing and only a few of over 1000 people that passed even bothered to stop and listen.

If we can’t take the time out of our lives to stay a moment and listen to one of the best musicians on Earth play some of the best music ever written; if the surge of modern life so overpowers us that we are deaf and blind to something like that — then what else are we missing?

There is a reason to get your personal finances in order and it is not to have a lot of money. It’s to have enough so that you can appreciate things like this. As I read the article, I wondered if I would have been one of the few that took the time to stop and listen – I’m not sure if I would have or not, but I know now that I will make a better effort to listen to the music from now on. I hope that all of you will do the same…

Update: The story drew worldwide attention and the author received many questions – he answers many of them here

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5 Responses to Don’t Forget – It’s Not About The Money

  1. Laura says:

    I agree. I think the connection there is between having a sufficiency–not living a life harried by consumerism and its financial and psychological anxieties–and feeling free to listen and see.

  2. TF Miser says:

    It probably didn’t have much to do with people not having time. The subway crowd probably had little in common with the crowds he usually plays for in concert halls. Most people probably didn’t care about his music or didn’t want to donate money. Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  3. Zachary says:

    Seriously, people, stop and smell the roses!

  4. LJ Cox says:

    Being familiar with both Washington DC and Philadelphia, I am unsurprised at the lack of response in DC, the most time-compressed city on the East coast, IMO. They have no busking tradition. I think the scene would have been very different in Philly, where buskers are more frequent, or even in DC for the evening, rather than the morning, rush. How many people enjoyed the music without being able to stop for it?

  5. tecwzrd says:

    Sadly I think most people don’t appreciate classical music regardless of the forum. The video is disturbingly painful to see such elegance wasted on people too hurried in life that they couldn’t linger even for a couple of minutes and appreciate the exquisite performance.

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