Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary – The Joshua Bell Experiment and Defying the Human Condition

This was an experiment in the D.C. Metro, with so much meaning on so meaning levels.

Joshua Bell, one of the greatest concert violinists in the world, put on a baseball cap and played for free, for 45 minutes, on a violin worth 3.5 million dollars right there in the subway station.

It was all video taped. Over a thousand people passed by. Seven stopped to listen.
He made $30.

Just 2 days before he sold out a Boston theatre, with tickets averaging $100.
The moral of this story for me??

“The extraordinary in an ordinary environment is so often overlooked and undervalued.”

So my question for you is, “What are you overlooking or undervaluing in your own world because it seems familiar or ordinary?”
And, “Where in your own life are you selling yourself out by trying to be appreciated or validated in an environment that does not support it?”

As I read about this story I found myself most captivated. And I couldn’t help but draw the connection to the plight of the 52-card playing deck within divination practices.

Playing cards are introduced by far and large within gaming environments. Their context is often casinos or gambling. So why would a mystical deck wind up here? Why would we even think to look at it from any other kind of perspective? It is Joshua Bell in the subway station.

And how many other objects of wonder miss our attention, investigation or appreciation, simply because we are making assumptions based on the environment we find it in?

To me this speaks to a much larger human conundrum. It is why children are so “lit up” and adults tend to get more and more dull with the passing of the years. All becomes too familiar. Too expected and definable. The miraculous just seems harder and harder to find the more “mature” one becomes.

To me, this is the very thing we must resist with all our bones, flesh, muscle and might. As the masters say, you must become the child again. As adults, we must find and feed the curiosity -consciously- that defines an awakened existence. Otherwise, we are sleepwalking, categorizing the world around us without actually looking at it.


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