Recognizing Greatness by John Cali

I’m sure at least some of you have heard this remarkable story of Joshua Bell, one of the world’s greatest violinists.

As arranged by The Washington Post, in January 2007 Bell got off the Metro at Washington, DC’s L’Enfant Plaza Station. Dressed as a nondescript young man in jeans, t-shirt, and baseball cap, he placed himself against a wall beside a trash container. He put his open violin case at his feet and threw in a few dollars and coins as an enticement to passersby.

This was during Washington’s morning rush hour. For 43 minutes Bell played six classical violin pieces. To all appearances, unless you were a classical music expert, he might have seemed like a homeless man seeking a few dollars. Yet his talent could bring up to $1,000 dollars — per minute!

The Post kept track of the proceedings. In that 43 minutes 1,097 people passed by. Bell’s final tally, at the end of 43 minutes, was $32.17.

Granted, he was not performing in his usual environment, and only a handful of passersby recognized the great Joshua Bell.

How often do we fail to see the greatness all around us? It’s always there, even in the humblest circumstances.

How often do we fail to see the greatness in our loved ones? Or, even more importantly, in ourselves?

Please give us your thoughts below.

John Cali’s Spirit Speaks Newsletter

2 Responses

  1. John Cali

    Thank you, Eric. Indeed we are ALL great.

  2. Eric

    Greatness sometimes appears as a wonderful talent. But God created us all great. What God has created is established and cannot be changed. To John's point, it's a good habit to recognize the greatness God gave to everyone. Including ourselves.

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