Don’t miss the music by just chasing dollars. David reflects from the side of a piano in one of the UK’s busiest financial districts.
I recently took the tube in London for a meeting at Canary Wharf in London. It was amazing to see the sheer volume of people flooding to the area as they headed to their jobs in the financial services sector. It reminded me of a large arena emptying after a sports event or concert, except that everyone was in business dress and in a hurry! The pin-striped hordes moved quickly whilst looking down or at their devices. No one was smiling as they joined the escalator exodus up to the surface level. At the bottom of the moving staircase a young girl was playing a piano. Pianos are a recent, welcome addition to many of the transport hubs in London. Above where this piano is located, stands a huge screen with an advert about wealth management opportunities at a global finance company. Is that what the people in the exodus are pursuing… more wealth? If so, how much more? Is there ever enough or is more always good? It’s not for me to decide but as the thousands rushed past in some kind of semi-conscious state that morning, they seemed not to hear the piano music or see the young mother pushing a child in a pram with one hand and feeding her baby with the other. She was looking for the lift and no one stopped to help.
It felt like people were in a cash-caused autopilot which meant they weren’t really ‘here’; like a scene from the film ‘The Matrix’ where money was making their virtual worlds go round. Will they stop at some point and realise that more is not always good? That happiness may also come from other pursuits? That money might actually be making their ‘world go wrong’? Will they ever hear the piano, help a young mother and feel more alive for having done so?