Wow! What an entertaining presenter Benjamin Zander is, certainly a multi talented individual with a unique and powerful view of the world. I'm impressed with the choice of text this month because it reaches a message or thesis that is deeper than education or media, a message that speaks to the essence of life and possibility. Through Zander's presentation I was reminded of the universality and unspoken language of music. Musician Bobby Ferrin makes a similar point in the video below:
Zander closes with a heartbreaking story about the power of words but what sticks with me now and possibly forever is the "shiny eyes". Zander comes to the relevation that a conductor is silent and that success lies in the shiny eyes of his or her players. This simple statement hit me like a sledgehammer. We are often selfishly unaware of our influence, as educators we have a powerful responsibility. I immediately related to Zander's example and I have seen those shiny eyes first hand when a subject simply "clicks" for one of my students.
In his book "The Art of Possibility" Zander goes on to speak about different ways we perceive the world and situations around us. Sometimes simply changing a point of view can open up new possibilities. A theme I have found throughout is that the answer often lies inward. How much can we change by simply adjusting our approach? While our answers can lie inward out influence is to those around us and our contributions to others. In this sense Zander offers a practical guide to being a conduit of good to those around you.
Here is a quote I will leave you with by French Novelist Marcel Proust:
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” - Marcel Proust (1871 - 1922)