Do you recognize the beauty in your day?

Pudge & I. He is one of my daily"joy bringers."

One of my quirks is that I am a little random. I can digress easily, I have many thoughts at one time, I get excited easily, etc... So, somehow yesterday a story that I heard at church about a year ago popped into my mind. And, as the story was probably supposed to do a year ago, got me thinking about whether I really take the time to "stop and smell the roses" and recognize the beauty in my life.

So after googling the details I remembered, I finally found the article online. I will briefly recap the story, but you can read the whole Washington Post article by clicking here. It is a little long, but totally worth the read...or at least a skim.
Anyway, as a small child, Joshua Bell had an extraordinary gift for the violin. "His parents, both psychologists, decided formal training might be a good idea after they saw that their son had strung rubber bands across his dresser drawers and was replicating classical tunes by ear, moving drawers in and out to vary the pitch." Wow.
Joshua was in Washington DC to perform at the Library of Congress. He was approached by the Washington Post to see if he would participate in a "social experiment" of sorts. Would he play his violin for free for 45 minutes during rush hour in the train station and see what happens? He agreed. They came up with a hypothesis of what would happen, how many people would stop and how much money he would make in that amount of time. They estimated he would make around $1000 in tips from passerbys, had called in extra security should someone recognize him and word spread and were pretty certain that a crowd would gather.
However, what happened was just the opposite. No crowd gathered. In his 45 minutes of playing he only made around $40 in tips. People rushed past, ipods were on, blue tooths and cell phones were attached to ears. The hustle and bustle of everyday life shut out the beauty of what was right in front of everyone's very eyes. The only group of people that stopped consistently to listen were children. However, they were quickly whisked away by their parents to again become part of the crowd in a hurry.
It made me wonder, how often in a day am I presented with beauty around me that I don't even recognize. Do I encounter a "Joshua Bell" in my day-to-day life? Do I see the beauty in around me? Am I thankful enough for my blessings? Probably not. But, it is nice to be reminded every once in awhile in my random thoughts that I do have lots of things in my life to bring me joy and, in turn, allow me to bring joy to others.


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