Sunday, November 6, 2011

WK 2 Reading: The Brightness of It All

Zander & Zander (2000). The Art of Possibility. I have always been considered by others and myself as a "smart-pessimistic" meaning the fact that I think too much about everything. I can spend hours thinking about a particular one thing or action. While others are losing sleep by being reckless and partying, I lose sleep by thinking about how other things affect other things. I do not mean to be vague, but by things it could be a multitude of different subjects. I could be thinking about my dreams, the world news, the suffering during some war, a book, a different driving route, people (old and new) and the list goes on. This book, how often that I read and pause to think about what is happening and why it is happening... It really is a stand-alone. It doesn't require me to stop what I am doing and look up something in Wikipedia. I don't need to look at one of my other books to see what it relates to. I don't have to call someone I know to discuss the themes of the book. It really was such a nice book to read, and that fact it is my textbook means more. This is to be learned and not just to be shelved, or forgotten in the memory of my computer. The authors of this book have such a way with words. Not being too complicated or simple, telling what they need to tell without overdoing it ( a problem I still have apparently ). They way they intertwine their stories with the text. Its all rather nice. And the misconception most people have about this book, and I myself at first, is that they aren't really about being "optimistic". They have said it multiple times about "not because we have done a measurable amount of good, but because that is the story we tell" and they do that very well (p.56). We add the connotations of something being good or bad. We assign what an "A" means. We assign what a "F" means. Society takes something and we immediately have to categorize it as something bad or something good. We have evolved beyond basic primal instincts of survival. We have evolved beyond the need of living in homes of caves and trees. Why haven't we been able to look past the need to categorize things has good or bad. We need to believe that we have evolved far enough to know that by defining this labels we hurt ourselves i the process. We need to be thinking about how it is and why it is. The story themselves are nothing without reason, and we make it that reason. Our contribution as educators and teachers affect everyone we meet, whether we teach them in a classroom or on the street. A bit more worldly, even though we have been hired to be "teachers" our job doesn't stop like normal jobs from 9 to 5 and not everyone needs a license to do it.
As we take it upon ourselves to stop being just teachers in a classroom, we need to be educators teaching others and "life-long" learners when we are being taught. There are men and woman out there doing it everyday. We need to think past passing and failing and be more aware of "progress" and "contribution" for they are both without sides. The writers have done such a great job at explaining how to take good and bad out of the equation and simplifying thinking even more so. By "inventing" new ways to see the world has given me a great deal to think about, though not as I usual do. I will start every night before I sleep with "how have I contributed today?". I should sleep more soundly. The cure for insomnia isn't pills or warm milk but mind resolution, instead of thinking about the what-ifs and the worry of tomorrow, think of the possibility and what you can contribute.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting assessment/review of the reading. I like your term "smart-pessimist," because at the heart of it none of us want to be surprised by making a wrong assumption about .... anything. We entertain the idea that we have a lock on Reality and anyone who doesn't hold our opinion is either misinformed, delusional or something worse. Now, to fixate and over-think things... that's another trait I'm quite familiar with. Ack. Thus, the idea that we never actually have the total/definitive view of reality, one might as well look for paths that accomplish versus locking things down and going into bomb-shelter mode. :-)