Awakening Possibilities

Ben Zander is the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, but he is equally known for his uplifting presentations on the human spirit and the art of possibility, the last being the title of a book he wrote with Rosamund Zander.

I recently watched a video of parts of Ben Zander’s talk that closed Davos in 2008. You can watch this talk in my previous post.

In particular, Zander’s story about how, in his 40s, he took stock of his conducting and came to a revelatory conclusion, stuck with me. He said

I realized my job was to awaken possibilities in others.

His words describe how I view my role in teaching folks about and with technology.

This past week in Maine we played several games of Scrabble; what we fondly call “old-fashioned fun” from the days when we were kids without computers: Board games to keep from being bored.

Our 17 year old son had the opportunity to see highlighted another side of his normally uncompetitive mother. And Ben Zander’s quote took on another meaning.

I was responsible for laying down the tiles in the lower left corner for “Quint”, continuing my multi-game run of getting Xs and Qs. Alas, I could not make use of the bottom left corner square…the one that provides triple word score, but I did awaken possibilities in others!

Our son played next and he only needed to lay down one tile – the S – to make “Squint”, netting him a rousing 45 points for triple word score. Oh yes, he managed to win this game; no surprise there!

When not scrabbling for evening entertainment, we kayaked (above photo is looking at Boothbay Harbor from Burnt Island) and swam (below photo is the lake on which our rented cabin resides, nestled in the trees on the slip of land to the right of the lake).



Ah, comfortably off the grid for one week and now poised to awaken our own new possibilities!

p.s. A quick check revealed that Safari does not appear to be displaying the images, but Firefox does. I’ll work on seeing if altering something about the images resolves the problem. Meanwhile, apologies. No amount of “squinting” will help 😉


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