While reading a post this morning on Punya Mishra’s blog, I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Pablo Casals. In fact, as an educator, it is one of my favorite quotes by a human… period. I found it a while back during a research project on creativity in grad school.
Mishra’s post is on creativity, genius, and age and references a recent article in the New Yorker by . The author speaks about our fascination with youthful genius. He finishes by making the case that many artists do their best work late in their careers. Perhaps the really interesting thoughts to be had are concerning the variables between such artists. In the end, I certainly agree with Punya, though, that the article leaves hope for those of us who are still in the unending hunt for brilliance.
And so the reason I came to this blog today in the first place, the quote. Swallow this one down today- especially if you are an educator, parent, or both. Never lose sight of the big picture. Print it. Copy it to your “stickies” file. Get a lengthy tattoo. Share it. Whatever you do, don’t hide these words:
“Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.”
~Pablo Casals (Spanish Cellist. 1876-1973)