Life Long Learning in Action

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Shiny Eyes

The other day my wife, son, and I traveled upstate to spend some time with our family. Along the way we listened to a couple TED talks. These talks are free to download via the TED website or you can subscribe to a feed through iTunes. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design and their annual conference brings together some of the most interesting speakers from around the world. These individuals range from famous politicians to scientists doing some amazing work. They are given 18 minutes to give the "talk of their lives." Often I look for talks related to education or technology but somehow a talk on classical music slipped in.

We had finished listening to four other talks when I decided we should give the last one a listen.

We listened and we loved it.

The talk was given by Benjamin Zander and the most memorable part of the talk is when he speaks about "shiny eyes". He relates his experiences as a conductor and his personal realization that he wanted to consistently "awaken possibilities in other people." In order to assess how he was "awakening" these possibilities all he had to do was look at their eyes to see if they were "shining".

"Who am I being if my players eyes are not shining?"

For parents, relatives, and teachers...

"Who am I being that my children's eyes are not shining?"

As a parent and a teacher this caused me to pause and think about what I do daily to awaken possibilities in my son's life and the lives of my students. Often we can get caught up in the daily grind leading to the simple things and glorious opportunities passing us by.

Take a listen to the talk and enjoy. We loved it and I hope you do too!

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