Glass half full?

A leader is a dealer in hope.


cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by artfulblogger

I retweeted this quote on Twitter this morning as it reflects what students need at school and we all need in life – hope. Hope that the future holds wonder, love and forgiveness. Hope that it will all be OK. Hope there will be laughter and joy. Hope the the glass is half-full!


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by kalyan02

In recent days I have been reading, often from educators, many quite depressing ‘glass half empty’  posts or comments. I am sure they see it as critical thinking or cutting through the hype. It can feel like being optimistic is a kind of naiveté.

Of course, I too, stone in hand, am guilty of this sometimes. 

I believe that many students and colleagues hear many comments and take much criticism that is unwarranted. How often does a young person hear something negative about the world of technology and their use of smartphones, Facebook or the web? Feedback and honesty is important but spending our days feeling that the world is not what it used to be or somehow is less, is not the way to live.

I have written about similar themes previously but feel sure that Alone Together, a terribly unbalanced, “primly sanctimonious” and negative book by Sherry Turkle, tipped me over the edge into posting this morning ;)

While writing this I was reminded of a clip I saw a while back from a talk show that made me laugh. Enjoy.

 

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10 Comments

  1. Hi Darcy,
    Your post is perfect! Synchronicity for the events of my life in the past 24 hours!
    I sat on a plane – owned by a Chinese company I might add – sitting with a Professor from a Chinese University (i.e. a medical specialist from a university that just happened to be the one that hosted our Hanban tour!) – and enjoying each other’s photographs of China on our respective computers!
    My photos were of Nanjing, Hangzhou, Guangzhou and amazing Shanghai… his photos were of his only holiday in the past 10 years when he and his wife travelled to far west China and visited a village that still lives the way it did centuries ago! and all the while we are suspended 10,000 metres above Australia! Unbelievable!
    Throughout this trip, the young teacher from my school and I kept pinching each other to remind us of where we were and what an opportunity we were sharing. We changed our parting words to each other (to go to rooms in hotels etc) to “pinch you later” instead of “see you later”! Our time in Guangzhou with Hanban included being hosted by graduate students from Sun Yat Sen University who fussed over us like mother hens… our time on the extended tour – our guide was a university graduate with a masters degree in laser technology (no less!) but who loved to take foreigners around his beautiful country and “teach” them about China!
    All of this just proves your point… I could never have imagined back in the 70’s – with the rampant fear of China being preached in our schools and churches – that in my life time China would open up and become bilingual English speaking! There’s much here for me to process and wonder about and have HOPE about – bucket loads of hope!
    Thanks Darcy… love your post!
    Regards, Deb

  2. Stu:

    Hope is OK, but what hope as a society or even as a race have we really got? After billions of years of evolution, we stood up. We made fire and we constructed the wheel. In just a few thousands of years we progressed and unbelievably so. Survival of the fittest. The weak and the stupid were out lived and out reproduced by the strong and the intelligent. And here I am now, sitting at home, typing this message into a box so the rest of the entire world can potentially read it. But yet, I fear for the future. Evolution’s taking a nasty turn. I call it anti-evolution. We’ve gotten too smart for our own good. All the really intelligent people aren’t procreating. They’re too busy working, or their lifestyles are too fast that they don’t have time for children and there’s no room for them in the convertible anyway. So who are reproducing? Where is the birthrate really coming from? What will be the outcome in fifty years?

    Smart people of the world! You. Reading this blog. Step away from the computer, find your significant other and do it. Do it now and then do it again just to make sure. You might like that innovative iPad 2 now, but if you don’t spread your seed, the only innovations we’ll see in the future will be akin to the Shake Weight. For the sake of humanity, we need your children!

  3. My facebook app is lagging 4 seconds on ios5!!!!

  4. unkle cyril:

    Hey up Darcy, I agree with you that we must be positive and instill confidence in our students and children, not only in education and its values but in life. As Louis C K says, we should recognise what a fantastic time in the history of the world we are living in, especially us in the developed countries.
    When I hear people whinging about how life is so terrible, about the kids these days, about the darkness of the future, I often think they are talking about their own condition.
    It may be panglossian but I believe we are living in the best of times, especially for the working man, in health, education and employment. Even people in countries under oppression are rising against it in the knowledge that the rest of the world is aware of their suffering and supports them.
    I raise my half-full glass to you Darcy and drink to the future and remember that good things can happen by accident too..cheers

  5. ronda:

    Gee that’s timely, Stu. I got ‘the talk’ from my doctor yesterday about “Time’s running out! You need to decide NOW if you want to spawn”. But…I think I’ve watched the film Idiocracy (see here: http://youtu.be/BXRjmyJFzrU) one too many times, and your sentiment (which is echoed in that flick) makes me really worry about the kind of world that any futurespawn may have to contend with.

    I would *really* love to buy into the hope you’re selling, Darcy, but…humanity disappoints me too often. It’s getting harder and harder to cultivate it, the older I get. I think I might buy Sherry Turkle’s book instead, and go finish off that half empty glass of semillon sitting on the table :P

    P.S. I don’t think lack of hope prevents success as a teacher though. Despite my cynicism and general grizzleguts demeanour, I’ll fight tooth and nail as an advocate for the kids I teach, to ensure they get what they need. But that doesn’t involve hope. It involves passion, conviction, and perhaps a little bit of leftover angry young woman (slowly morphing into grumpy old woman?) :)

    • Darcy Moore:

      Ronda,

      I can see you had fun making your comment. A colleague of mine prominently displayed a poster with following:

      Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
      Watch your words, for they become actions.
      Watch your actions, for they become habits.
      Watch your habits, for they become character.
      Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

      as a reminder to himself about the power of our thoughts. A little ‘sanctimonious’ perhaps but it came to mind. ;)

      • ronda:

        Yeah I can see the merit in that , Darcy. Just wish it applied to my thoughts and words: “I need to stop eating so much chocolate” ;)

  6. Imelda Judge:

    Love the clip, Darcy. My teckkie son and I chortled as we viewed it and couldn’t help reflecting on the truth behind it! More kids need to realise the history behind the things they take for granted today. And great things are being done with these new objects

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