Book: Reflections

Reflections - bringing attention to your daily life by Désirée Steinmann

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Reflections of the Week

Family and Culture

2011-03-12 14:30 (comments: 0)

Several years ago we decided to begin the cultural education of our children, who are at the moment 13 and 14 years old. Since then, we have been taking them to the theater, to concerts and musicals and to the museum.

As can be easily imagined they often protest, especially at this age, but we have decided that these events are non-negotiable.   So far, this method has been working rather well.

After the initial defensive phase the kids began to actually enjoy the outings and we’ve had some really productive and interesting discussions.

Both of them are very proud of what they have seen and experienced so far. The Blue Man Group show was definitely one of their favorites!

Slowly we have been introducing them to more demanding events where the music or the art type are more challenging, and I have to admit that sometimes we push their limits. Last Sunday, for example, we took them to see the musical “Evita” where the music and the libretto initially seemed a bit too much for their taste. During the first act they complained about the musical and they both felt discouraged and uninterested by the story.

This changed rather quickly in the interval. Why? Well, not because I tried to push my point of view. It was rather because I agreed with them that it must have been difficult to follow such a complex story presented to them in a way that they weren’t accustomed to. I had also explained to them the background of the story, and then we discussed the actors, the effects and the stage decorations. Both my kids like their school theater very much and we tried to look at the musical from this perspective. I asked them to think how they would try to present the story if they were to do it in their school theater. How has Evita changed during the play and is there a lesson we could learn from this?

After the musical both kids sang some songs and they talked about their favorite scenes and discussed their conclusions in an open and engaged way. That isn’t to say that they are dying to see the musical again. However, once they understood what it was about, their attitude changed clearly from complaining and rejection to interest and openness.

Consider this:  if you feel like complaining about or resisting something in your life right now, perhaps it could help to change your perspective? Could you create a more constructive attitude and approach by focusing on details or connections to things that you find important or familiar? It’s worth a try!

Quotes

 

I will go further, and assert that nature without culture can often do more to deserve praise than culture without nature.

Cicero

 

I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.

Mahatma Gandhi

If you see in any given situation only what everybody else can see, you can be said to be so much a representative of your culture than you are a victim of it.

S. I. Hayakawa

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