Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hindering Hierarchy 2/15/09

Always listen to experts.
They'll tell you what can't be done and why.
Then do it.

Robert Heinlein
Happy Sunday to you.
I grew up in a very negative environment, at home and at school. I was always being told not to do something, or that I wasn't ready to do something, that I didn't understand or wasn't good enough or smart enough to do something. So I tried to believe it. I had a generally negative attitude about everything and I spent a lot of my youth convincing other people that they couldn't do things. I am deeply sorry for all of the less than courageous ones I convinced of the pointlessness of their desires and hopes.

When I came across people who listened to me and then went on do to the thing I was sure they couldn't do, I was resentful and to justify myself was critical of them and their efforts

I'm glad to say that as I grew into manhood I slowly saw the error of my ways and stopped being a dissuader. I was observing people who were accomplishing things that other people said couldn't or shouldn't be done. And after a while I became a doer of impossible tasks, in small ways, myself. And every time I did I was delighted with myself. That feeling of the joy of accomplishment took me to the other side and made me start to persuade folks to go for the things that seemed impossible. There was one very important event that caused me to become a permanent encourager. And here it is.

I worked for a year at a theatre company that toured schools, hospitals, prisons and other institutions. We performed a one act play, about 20 minutes long, and then held a discussion with the audience. Our audiences were groups that went from kindergarten to senior centers. One of the plays required a musical score. The director asked me to compose one. It was a strange score with bits and pieces of music and some sound effects.

When the discussions came the director would frequently turn questions back by saying "What do you think?" There were often questions about the musical score and various opinions were expressed. One day we played at a junior high school in a state I won't name. After we finished and were packing up to leave a boy came up to me and said that he liked the music and told me what he thought it meant. But then he said he was probably wrong because he was a "G" class student, or something like that, and therefore couldn't really understand those things. I boiled.

I was standing on a platform about a foot above him. I jumped off of it, stood in front of him and said that his explanation of the score was approximately what I had in mind when I composed it, which was true. Then I put my hands on his shoulders and said "Don't you ever let anyone ever tell you that you are incapable of understanding something ever again in your life!"

I will never forget that experience. Sitting here right now at my computer typing this story a great feeling of sadness is building up in me. I can only hope that fellow took my words to heart, that not too many students were harmed and that the state in question has discarded it's barbaric policy of classifying kids.

Try out a smile on yourself today, and see if it works.


salemslot9 said...

I try to stay away
from negativity
I feel a bit fragile
I try to be more positive
at this point
in my life
negative people can be
too judgemental of others

René said...

Hi DB, Negative people and the human preocupation with sex are the factors that have interfered with progress. We could already be walking on other planets if it wasn't for those impedances.

Indigo said...

I have a built in radar to do my own thing despite the advice given. It's served me well so far. (Hugs)Indigo

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Sad to classify based on few facts and even less understanding. Great of you to stand up and help the fellow.

Beth said...

Who knows, D, you may have very well made a big difference in the course of that young man's life.


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