Benjamin Zander, Creating

The Way Things Are

Zander’s next chapter starts with an excerpt from the film. Babe when the cow and the duck talk about the the disappearance of Roseanna who later turns up ons t a Christmas platter. The cow says that’s the way things are and the duck says the way things are stinks. We’ve often taken both sides of the argument.

The Zanders argue against resignation. When that is our attitude, even when we think we are moving forward we are often inserting language in the situation that attests to our belief that things won’t really work. I was amused the other day to hear someone say that in a month or two things are going to change when a new employee starts on the job. The look on his face shows that he thinks the scene can only get worse. He’s forecasting a downward spiral

downward spiral

Seeing the way things are doesn’t pretend that they are necessarily the way we want them to be. It’s our attitude toward reality that determines what will happen next. If we focus on everything that is wrong about the situation we draw attention to it and reinforce it. If we see that there actually are options, we can consider them in turn. Taking this stance has much in common with Appreciative Inquiry when one starts with what is positive in the situation. Those who have often been in the most dire of circumstances have yet retained the power to accept things exactly as they are and use that reality as their point of departure without judging it. Just doing so creates the momentum between where one wishes to go and where we are now. And there are lots of options to consider in all directions – just like a mind map


Canada’s Jack Layton, the federal politician who died this week all too young at 61 said it well in a letter that he penned just two days before his death.

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let’s be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.