Monday, August 11, 2008

Paralympic Spirit

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Last fall, in Trivandrum, India, I met Mark Woods, gold-medal Paralympian. He was generous and let me hold his heavy, bright gold medal in my hand. Right now, I'm reminded of Mark because he spoke of the mornings he did not wish to get out of bed to swim, but made himself do so.

That's how I'm feeling about blogging tonight. I'd like to go to bed, rather than stay up, blogging...but I want to be my most alive self, and my most alive self is self-expressive.

Writing that reminded me to read the essay that a childhood friend sent me recently and to respond to it; I wrote back to my friend:

It was great. Thanks for the gift in sending it to me. I really loved this question especially:
I wonder whether on some basic level the capacity to transmit aspects of our essential selves to our students, as Rabbi Gillman succeeds in doing so superbly, is what our ancient rabbis intended to convey when they made so much of the concept of dor l’dor [generation to generation]. Did they too experience the transformative power this kind of giving and receiving generated in their own teaching and learning?

The more open I am, the more people gain out of knowing me...and yet, it can be so wrenching to give so openly of myself. This whole essay encourages me to do so. I talked with you recently about your playfulness and originality behind the top-notch academician, and I relate to that from a physical-presence standpoint....Did I tell you this when we spoke last? My mom used to say that even as a toddler, I seemed "sturdy," and Mrs. Rodwin, my 5th grade teacher told my mother that I was " dignified," and yet was actually funny, as though she had been surprised to discover a personality in someone whose physical presence seemed so dignified.

Heart vs. mind. It's rare to find, or be, someone, who can share both deeply.


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