Monday, December 22, 2008

Lessons from the Grinch

One of my Christmas favorites is "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." Is it just me, or have some others have picked up on a particular message.

The turning point, of course, is the point where "the Grinch's heart grew three sizes." Thinking back to the story line, what was it that caused the Grinch's change of heart?

The "Whos" were gathered in a circle singing. The Grinch had taken all of the material symbols of Christmas, but he could not take from them the gift of music, and it was music that sustained them. It was when the Grinch heard the joyful sounds of the voices that he began to change.

Examples of the importance of music are all around us. As a people, we always incorporate music into those events associated with our greatest times of joy as well as our times of sadness. It is a language which speaks to all.

Why talk about this subject in a blog devoted to time management? Two reasons. First of all, as we use organization and time management to held us accomplish more and accomplish it faster, what are we going to do with the time we have saved? For me, devoting more time to that particular area of my life is a goal.

Secondly, as Aristotle once said, "Since music has so much to do with the molding of character, it is necessary that we teach it to our children." As schools are grappling with the time crunch of how to "fit it all in," all too often music goes by the wayside despite mountains of research saying we should be doing just the opposite. There are places that find the time to include these kinds of experiences for their children, even without a music specialist on board. I had the pleasure to witness a program just the other day where this kind of culture is present, but that's another story for another day.

Great nations write their autobiographies in three manuscripts: the book of their deeds, the book of their words and the book of their art. Not one of these books can be understood unless we read the other two; but of the three, the only trustworthy one of them is the last.

-John Ruskin

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