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10:06 am - Thursday September 29, 2016

Taking the Moments to Appreciate Life

| Philosophy, Psychology | Rating: 4.5
by Numan

I write a lot about investing, business and personal finance. So do many other personal finance blogs. However, we have to keep reminding ourselves money is just a means to an end and not an end in itself.

A recent experiment by the New York Post demonstrates what seems to be our innate inability to appreciate the present.

In the middle of D.C morning rush hour famed violinist Joshua Bell stood in a metro station and played six immortal classical pieces, such as J.S Bach’s “Chaconne” on his Stradivarius violin. He stood and played there for almost an hour with the violin case at his feet wearing ordinary everyday clothes. I believe you can guess the rest.

Almost 1,000 people passed him by, nearly unaffected by the marvelous musician playing before them.

Gene Weingarten discusses this experiment and its results in great detail in his article “Pearls before Breakfast” which I believe we should all read. What really troubled me is one begging question: Would I have stopped and listened?

I am every much a grey bureaucrat as many of the commuters in this D.C metro station. We all survive our daily routine by focusing on the tasks at hand and shutting out almost everything else.

Joshua Bell made 32.17$ for 43 minutes of what is described by Weingarten as heavenly music. No crowd gathered. Only one person out of 1,000 saw the quality in the music being played (while not recognizing the violinist).

Our defense mechanisms have their uses but they are costly. Constantly reminding ourselves what we live for is the only way to make sure we stay focused on what’s important.

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