Sometimes, it is our task to find out how much music we can make with what we have left

Yitzhak Perlman, the great violinist, was playing in New York. Yitzhak Perlman was crippled by polio as a young child, so the bottom part of his body doesn’t work well and he wears these very prominent leg braces and comes on in crutches, in a very painful, slow way, hauling himself across the stage. Then he sits down and, very carefully, unbuckles the leg braces and lays them down, puts down his crutches, and then picks up his violin. So, this night the audience had watched him slowly, painfully, walk across the stage; and he began to play. And, suddenly, there was a loud noise in the hall that signaled that one of his four strings on his violin had just snapped.

Continue reading

How many lives have I touched?

“When I was in my mid-forties, my father died. His death  stopped me in my tracks and changed my life. Before he died, I was  a hot-shot professor at the London Business School – teaching  ambitious young men and women, publishing well-received articles, writing best-selling business books, jetting around the world,  lecturing at major universities, consulting for big-name companies. I was on the edge of the big time. And, I have to admit, I was  pretty pleased with myself. Continue reading

There is a place called, “beyond hope and fear”

What if, at the end of our lives, we die having watched destruction and not been able to create any good effect?

What, really, is available to us if we can’t save the world? What do we fund our work for? Where do we gain energy if we don’t believe that we’re going to be successful? How can we do our work without hope that we will succeed? Continue reading

You are the greatest story ever told

I have great news.

You are the star of the most poignant film ever conceived. An unprecedented epic saga, it is filmed in one continuous shot, from the first-person perspective. The sets are rich with detail, the lighting always underlines the mood perfectly, the cinematography always magnificent yet unpretentious. Continue reading