Who you are

I follow a few magicians online. I learn magic as a hobby. I don’t think I am a good magician, but I love the storytelling that goes along with all magic performance. Storytelling is what I enjoy.

Here is an extract from one of the wizards I learn from online – I like the message here:

I recently heard a magician, reply to the applause from his audience by saying, “Thank you so much. It’s a very difficult trick.”

And it got me wondering, “What makes magic impressive?”

Traditionally, it’s the mystery of the secret method: The Unknown.

Though more recently, there seems to be a trend towards overt displays of manual dexterity: The Difficult.

But if literally ANYONE can learn the secret to a trick, and MANY people can learn to execute a difficult sleight or flourish with enough practice…

…what’s so impressive about either?

Maybe this is why so many comedians, TV shows and movies make fun of magic.

Because they know, almost anyone can walk into a magic shop and buy the secrets, or lock themselves alone in their bedroom and practice shuffling cards for hours.

But the art of magic isn’t about buying secrets, or easily gained dexterity – any more than the art of music is about buying a guitar and having nimble fingers. (Though at least guitarist don’t walk around saying they have super natural powers!)

The art of magic, is about what we DO with the basic tools of knowledge and dexterity.

And especially how our performances inspire people to think and FEEL.

At its best, a magic performance is also a creative expression of the magician’s unique perspective on the world.

If we share nothing about our personal selves through our performances, then in a sense – anyone could have done it. And there’s nothing inherently creative or original about mere dexterity and keeping secrets.

Knowledge in itself is nothing. Skill in itself is nothing.

As performers, I think we should keep in mind the Greek myth of Narcissus, and how he fell in love with his own reflection – with disastrous results.

To Teach

Dedicated to all the teachers

From a school principal’s speech at a graduation…

He said “The Doctor wants his child to become a doctor…
The Engineer wants his child to become an engineer…
The Businessman wants his ward to become CEO…
BUT a teacher also wants his child to become one of them, as well… !!!
Nobody wants to become a teacher BY CHOICE”.
Very sad but that’s the truth… !!!

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life.

One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, “What’s a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become only a teacher?”

To stress his point he said to another guest; “You’re a teacher, Mrs Sharma. Be honest. What do you make?”

Teacher Mrs Sharma, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, “You want to know what I make?

(She paused for a second, then began…)

“Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.

I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor winner.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can’t make them sit for 5 min. without an I- Pod, Game Cube or movie rental.

You want to know what I make?

(She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table…)

I make kids wonder.

I make them question.

I make them apologize and mean it.

I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.

I teach them how to write and then I make them write.

Keyboarding isn’t everything.

I make them read, read, read.

I make them show all their work in math.

They use their God given brain, not the man-made calculator.

I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know about India while preserving their unique cultural identity.

I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.

Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life.

(Mrs Sharma paused one last time and then continued.)

Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing money isn’t everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant. You want to know what I make?

I MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN ALL YOUR LIVES, EDUCATING KIDS AND PREPARING THEM TO BECOME CEO’s, AND DOCTORS AND ENGINEERS…

What do you make Mr. CEO? Only money?

His jaw dropped; he went silent.

THIS IS WORTH SENDING TO EVERY  teacher you know. Actually very worth sending again and again – especially to those from other professions who think they are above teachers.

Always be proud;

Be a teacher.

Wise man

A poor Jew finds a wallet with $700 in it. At his synagogue, he reads a notice saying that a wealthy congregant lost his wallet and is offering a $100 reward for it. He spots the owner and gives him the wallet.

The rich man counts the money and says, “I see you already took your reward.”

The poor man answers, “What?”

“This wallet had $800 in it when I lost it.”

They begin arguing, and eventually come before the rabbi. Both state their case. The rich man concludes by saying, “Rabbi, I trust you believe ME.”

The Rabbi says, “Of course,” and the rich man smiles. The poor man is crushed.

Then the Rabbi hands the wallet to the poor man.

“What are you doing?!” yells the rich man.

The Rabbi answers, “You are, of course, an honest man, and you say the wallet you lost had $800 in it. Therefore I’m sure it did. But if the man who found this wallet is a liar and a thief, he wouldn’t have returned it at all. Which means that this wallet must belong to somebody else. If that man steps forward, he’ll get the money. Until then, it belongs to the man who found it.”

“What about my money?” the rich man asks.

“Well, we’ll just have to wait until somebody finds a wallet with $800 in it …”