The Washington Post stationed a world-class violinist in an arcade outside a subway station in 2007 and asked him to play his multimillion-dollar Stradivarius for busy commuters. The unscientific experiment measured the number of people who stopped to listen or to throw some change into the violin case. Would anybody notice?

Few people cared about the stranger playing classical compositions. There is a video of the violinist, and it shows people walking past him with barely a glance. A child, accompanied by his mother, tried to stop to listen, but his mother hurried him along.

I have been fascinated with this story ever since it was published. How was it possible that more people didn’t notice those brilliant tones? The sound of a violin can reach decibel levels of 100 dB, which is as loud as a jackhammer or four times as loud as a vacuum cleaner.

I think the people who ignored the violinist were simply caught up in their own lives and not paying attention to their own tiny voices, with a dB level under 10.

How many things in my own life have I ignored? What have I missed that my tiny voice has tried to tell me?

How many things in my own life have I ignored? What have I missed that my tiny voice has tried to tell me?

Apparently, the list is lengthy; I’m surprised my tiny voice hasn’t thrown in the tiny towel. On a daily basis, I overlook my messy desk. I blame a lack of space, but that excuse rings hollow, even to me. Do I really need five lip balms and three different types of gum in my drawer?

Where is organizing consultant Marie Kondo when I need her? Author and lifestyle guru Kondo created a clean-up culture by inspiring messy people like me to throw out that which does not “spark” joy.

My tiny voice and I so far have largely ignored Kondo’s screed, except possibly when it comes to the forgotten, liquefied vegetables in my refrigerator’s crisper.

I also have ignored friend requests on social media, whatever latest fashion is trending and the tiny voice that asks me if I really need that extra cup of coffee or if butter is good or bad for me this week.

The tiny voice also told me when I was in college that a 7 a.m. calculus class was probably not a good choice for me. I didn’t listen to that voice, and it turned out that it was right. I missed that class, but I don’t miss calculus.

As I’ve gotten older, I have paid more attention to that tiny voice: Bring your umbrella. Wear a sweater. Don’t eat beets.

When I walked to my car one day recently, I had a pen and notepad, hoping to observe some wonderful thing I had previously ignored. I turned up the volume on my tiny voice.

What I noticed was not nearly so intriguing as Joshua Bell, the violinist who played for passersby near that busy D.C. subway station and who makes about $100,000 per concert.

I spied colonies of ants between the cracks in the sidewalk, furiously reconstructing their home despite the inevitability of the next ant apocalypse. They did not appear to notice me.

I wondered about the random, circular black blotches on the sidewalk. I suspect they were blobs of discarded, petrified gum but did not actually test them. I wondered if the people who disposed of the gum in such a way always ignore the societal rules of littering.

My tiny voice, which gets distracted sometimes, reminded me of a factoid associated with the gum blobs. Did you know that San Luis Obispo, California, is home to Bubblegum Alley, a 70-foot long alley whose walls are adorned with gobs of used bubblegum?

When my mind came back to my walk, I noticed there were no clouds in the sky and the temperature was about 70 degrees. This type of day is what no person visiting from out of town ignores when they decide to move to Florida.

I noted – with admiration and jealousy – how well-tended UCF’s green spaces are. I recalled that at certain times throughout the year, the green spaces on Memory Mall are fenced off and smell vaguely of farm. I think they call it “rehabilitation.” Trample on grass, rehabilitate grass, repeat ad infinitum – an industrious undertaking, not unlike the aforementioned ants.

I reckon the things I miss on a daily basis are things most people miss. Most people do miss things, even if it’s a superstar musician playing right in front of them.

About seven years after Bell played his violin in the subway, he returned to the scene of his impromptu concert where he had collected $32 in his violin case. During this free concert, the case was not open for tips. This time, however, nearly 1,000 people noticed.

What have you overlooked that will you notice today?

Camille Dolan is the communications coordinator for the University of Central Florida’s College of Health Professions and Sciences. She can be reached at