Sunday, April 15, 2007

The big disconnect

I just heard about how Joshua Bell, the famous violinist, pretending to be a busker was treated no better than a busker. It made me sad, and it brought me nearly to tears. It is apparently not a given that beauty is recognized easily. I am not surprised, though. I know that context makes all the difference. The more a performance costs, the more the appreciation rises. The same goes for a painting: the more the owner paid for it the better it must be. Also, the more a person gets paid the more powerful he is.

This inability to recognize is not only apparent when it comes to art. It is also apparent among doctors and dentists who fail to diagnose because they are too busy with their own interests (dollars and careers) or lawyers who are too interested in winning (dollars and careers). For some reason the moment of recognition passes and leaves cold those who used to be passionate. Where has the enthusiasm gone with which we used to point out a butterfly? But who's looking. Where's that train that once took us there? Or is it that Alice doesn't live here anymore?


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