We’re busy. Americans have been busy, as a people, since at least 1831, when a young French sociologist named Alexis de Tocqueville visited the States and found himself impressed, bemused and slightly dismayed at the degree to which people were driven, to the exclusion of everything else, by hard work and the accumulation of wealth.

Are we too busy?

My friend Carol and I had lunch on Friday and she told me about an experiment done by The Washington Post. World reknowned violinist Joshua Bell gave a 43 minute free concert during rush hour in a busy commuter area. What The Post wanted to know was: could beauty transcend busy-ness?

Only seven people even noticed the violinist. Only one recognized the violinist was Joshua Bell.

A three-year-old boy, Evan, wanted his mother to stop and listen. He pulled on her sleeve but she kept them moving along. Later, his mother said they were too pressed for time to stop.

A three-year-old had more sense and a greater appreciation for beauty than 1,000 adults who rushed past Joshua Bell!

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?

As you start this new week, try to slow down to notice something beautiful. Let beauty transcend busy-ness.

Source: The Washington Post Experiment.

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