3.5 Million-Dollar Violin


One day an interesting experiment was conducted.  A famous violinist, who routinely plays in front of a huge packed auditoriums, spent a morning at one of the Subway stations in Washington D.C. He was dressed in a casual garb, playing a 3.5 million-dollar violin! The whole event was not announced and no one knew who was playing at that Subway station.

The experimenters observed that no one stopped to listen to the music.  People were passing by and didn’t even take a look.  It was a work morning so everyone was rushing to work. A famous violinist with a 3.5 million violin didn’t make any difference in the lives of these people who made a choice not to notice the beauty of the music and the significance of that moment. They had a rare chance to be at a very expensive (routinely) concert absolutely at no charge, but they missed their opportunity.

This story came to my mind when I observed a similar incident.  I was at Detroit airport walking to my flight connection when suddenly, I saw a very beautiful purple tunnel.  As I approached the tunnel, the color purple changed to green, music started playing and colors started moving with music.  It was amazing to watch because it was so beautiful and quite unexpected.

I looked around and saw a very sad picture (in my mind, of course). As I was moving slowly through the long music tunnel, not a single person took a look!  Majority were on their phones, oblivious to the beauty around them.

One could argue that perhaps, they live in Detroit and see it every time, but it was a tunnel inside the airport where passersby are people arriving from other places.

The beauty of the moment — the incredible color and pleasant music—remained outside of these people’s immediate reality, their Matrix (as I call it).

As there is a powerful spiritual principle: “Don’t take anything for granted. Be grateful,” this article is a friendly reminder to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I taking such moments of beauty and inspiration for granted and don’t allow them into my immediate reality?
  • Am I oblivious to small moments that happen every day that could make my day more beautiful, happier or more peaceful?
  • Am I walking through life like a Zombie without appreciating simple pleasures and simple beauty?
  • What was the last small moment that I have noticed and appreciated? When did it happen?

I remember when I first moved to America 21 years ago, I was in absolute awe at palm trees at Publix plaza in Orlando, Florida, that were wrapped in lights and shined prettily in the dark. I couldn’t absorb enough that simple beauty of light.

Time passed, I got into routine of seeing these lights and stopped noticing them.  What happened?

At the beginning, these lights on palm trees represented such a contrast between what I saw (or rather didn’t see) in Russia and what I found in America.  But eventually, the routine took a toll and the beauty had stopped.

Now, of course, as I am spiritually aware, I make a point to notice and to appreciate. My life is so much richer because of this simple awareness. And I wish the same for you!