last september i did a little post about how we often miss beauty around us because we are not looking for it. for a long time i've been fascinated with how much goes unnoticed simply because we lack the fundamental curiosity to pay attention to the world around us. this is compounded by our busyness, drivenness and cultural value of "focusing on the task at hand." curiosity will always decrease "productivity." anyways, a friend recently pointed me to this brilliant experiment in which "one of the finest classical musicians in the world, playing some of the most elegant music ever written on one of the most valuable violins ever made" stood performing in the metro station in washington during the morning commute. the question was "In a banal setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?" the experts predicted it would. he would play for 45 minutes and about 1,077 people would walk by. the prediction was he would draw a crowd of at least 75 people and make about $150 in his hat. the result? "seven people stopped what they were doing to hang around and take in the performance, at least for a minute. twenty-seven gave money, most of them on the run -- for a total of $32 and change. that leaves the 1,070 people who hurried by, oblivious, many only three feet away, few even turning to look."
the only group who always had the capacity to notice beauty out of context were the little ones. "every single time a child walked past, he or she tried to stop and watch. and every single time, a parent scooted the kid away."
so, will beauty transcend? will you notice? probably not... unless you have the eyes of a child.