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A chalkboard stood in the middle of New York City asking passersby to write down their biggest regrets. As the board filled up, it was noticed that all of these responses had one BIG regret in common. Check it out:
Michelangelo is often quoted as having said that inside every block of stone or marble dwells a beautiful statue; one need only remove the excess material to reveal the work of art within.
Imagine if we were to apply this concept to the education system. It would be pointless to compare one child to another. Instead, all our energy would be focused on chipping away at the stone, getting rid of whatever is in the way of each child’s potential skills, mastery and self-expression.
Every child thus becomes an A-grade student. After all, the ABCDEF system of grading is a game that’s been invented by humans, so we might as well choose to invent something that brightens the lives of our children = A-grade.
The practice of giving an A to every student allows the teacher to focus on producing a great outcome – to focus on what’s fully possible; their full potential – and to not compare one against the other in the process.
And what if we now give an ongoing A to all people, in all of our relationships. The free granting of an A to everyone takes them off the success/failure ladder, removes them from the pleased/disappointed list, and spirits you away from the standards of measurement and judgement into a world of possibility.
Here’s a very funny and short story, stolen from Tom, who stole it from Jon, who stole it from Jeremy.
Jeremy was apparently traveling on a Canadian Airways flight. On landing, the aircraft slammed down on to the runway with a terrible bang. Quite reasonably, the passengers waited the explanation from the captain. And this if what they heard:
“This is Captain Johnson speaking. I’ve been flying with Canadian for over thirty years, and that was the worst fucking landing I’ve ever made! Please accept my apologies.”
Here’s the rub: In that instant the captain became a hero in the eyes of his passengers. Why? Because in a world of squirrelly fucking explanations, he’d just called it like it is.
As the passengers left the plane they all wanted to shake his hand and give him a big thumbs up. And no-one was heard complaining about his language.
When Apollo 8 became the first manned voyage to orbit the moon in 1968, the crew were the first human beings to see planet earth from the other side of the moon.
American astronaut William Anders was the cameraman on that mission, and this is what he saw:
Just think, on this tiny disc, or on the reverse side, is where you were born, grew up, fell in love, breathe, eat, see sunsets, play, work, dream and die. Indeed it’s where you are now as you look at this page.
I reckon we are no more than a twinkle in God’s eye, whoever or whatever God may be.
See your life as a fishing rod.
The rod itself is something you’re connected to … life, love, wisdom.
This rod, when being viewed from a higher angle, is your eternal being and existence on the planet.
The fishing line shines with the experiences you’ve had throughout your life, and at the end of the fishing line a hook is forever tied. This hook is you and your reality.
As your fishing line and hook are cast out into the open world of the ocean, so your life and duty are cast out too.
The hands of time slowly reel your life and experience in, one moment at a time. Until of course you reach the end of the rod once more, and prepare to re-cast out into the open world of the ocean.
My question is simply this: What kind of fish are you trying to catch?
A sun riser gives out energy, a sun setter sucks it away.
A sunset person is heavy in the knowledge that the best is past. For him or her, the future is in a calibrated decline. And so for her or him the present is always sloping … downhill.
A sun riser is open to the idea that the best is still to come. For him or her, the future is a wide open incline. And so for her or him the present is always beginning … over the hill.
Personally I’d rather be a sun riser than a sun setter.