Sunday, February 24, 2013

choose possibility

"If I were to wish for anything I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of what can be,  for the eye, which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never. And what wine is so sparkling, what so fragrant, what so intoxicating as possibility."  - Sōren Kierkegaard

I've posted Benjamin Zander's TED talk before; I loved it. Little did I know, when I picked up the book The Art of Possibility that it was co-authored by the same Benjamin Zander.

I love the "I am a contribution" game. Imagine... inventing yourself as a contribution. The steps to the practice are these:

  1. Declare yourself a contribution.
  2. Throw yourself into life as someone who makes a difference, accepting that you may not understand how or why.
In the contribution game, unlike success and failure, contribution has no other side.

I loved Rule Number 6 *.

Favorite Quote:
The life force for humankind is, perhaps, nothing more or less than the passionate energy to connect, express, and communicate. Enrollment is that life force at work, lighting sparks from person to person, scattering light in all directions. Sometimes the sparks ignite a blaze; sometimes they pass quietly, magically, almost imperceptibly, from one to another to another.

If you feel like focusing on the possible or if, after watching his TED talk, you'd like to know Benjamin Zander better, I highly recommend reading The Art of Possibility.

"I am done with great things and big plans, great institutions and big successes. I am for those tiny, invisible loving human forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, yet which, if given time, will rend the hardest monuments of human pride."   
-  William James

*Rule Number 6 is "Don't take yourself so g--damn seriously."  What are the other rules, you might wonder? ... there aren't any.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

human flourishing

“The separation between science and human values is an illusion – and, actually, quite a dangerous one at this point in human history.”  Sam Harris

the more beautiful world that our hearts tell us is possible

I was at a meeting on Friday that got me thinking... can you create community in a monetised system... say, like an independent school? What does it mean when the student is looked at as a widget, a 'butt' in a seat... what does it mean when a school is treated like an airline: fill the seats with anyone willing to pay...

How do you create a different way to do things?

How do you inspire others to ask better questions?

These questions led me to Charles Eisenstein...

“We’ve all been given a gift, the gift of life.  What we do with our lives is our gift back.”
~ Edo
What do you live in service to ... a montetised system, a connected community, or something else entirely?

Sunday, February 10, 2013



When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. 

I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. 

For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wendell Berry

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Saturday, February 9, 2013

married to amazement

When Death Comes
When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps his purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering;
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument.
I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.
~ Mary Oliver ~