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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001089.txt from 2003/06

From: (Tony Pay)
Subj: RE: [kl] Unfixing the words
Date: Sat, 28 Jun 2003 12:03:26 -0400

On Sat, 28 Jun 2003 10:09:37 -0500, said:

> I once learned a very pertinent lesson from a wise music teacher in
> school. We were in class one day during the late seventies and were
> discussing money. Of course us younguns' all virtuously said money is
> not important. We were all so proud of ourselves, having been taught
> that materialistic values were not good. Our facial expressions
> transformed from smiles of smugness to a those of embarrassment and
> pensiveness when he said, "Money is not important ONLY to those who
> have NEVER been without it."
> So, my friends, if you have never experienced a handicap, difference,
> disadvantage, whatever one prefers to call it, it is only too easy to
> make judgments about what another can do if they "would only stretch
> their mind a little further, try harder, not be so lazy, practice
> more, etc..." These are easy statements to make for those of us who
> have never had those restrictions placed upon us.

Can I put the wisdom in your post in another way, Christy?

One part of it is to say that the best way of making a useful
pronouncement is to tailor what you say to the particular person you're
saying it to. That applies in life as in teaching.

It's almost impossible to make a general remark that is true and
helpful for everyone. Even though what your music teacher said about
money might have been appropriately wise for your class, it isn't
universally true or universally helpful. That's because someone without
money might well be making their lack of it 'too important' in their
lives, and hearing what he said could block their realisation of that

The other part of it is to say that your having experienced what another
is experiencing, in detail, is not necessary in order for you to say or
do something useful. What is necessary is (1) to see what is
disempowering about how they are holding their own situation, and (2) to
have known for yourself that a change in how you hold your situation can
be enabling, even though the circumstances themselves may never change.

_________ Tony Pay
|ony:-) 79 Southmoor Rd
| |ay Oxford OX2 6RE
tel/fax 01865 553339

... (A)bort, (R)etry, or (I)nfluence with hammer.

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