From the Editor/ December, A Good Time to Reflect

December 1, 2014

I’ve always found the month of December to be a special time to think about things. In the branch we were wrapping up the first quarter, hoping the holidays brought none of those below zero degree days that create boiler emergencies. While at 507 there was the relative quiet of that week between the Christmas and New Year holidays. And, of course, there were always the family activities. All gave me extra motivation to stop and think about the year past and those to come, something I really enjoyed.

In retirement, I multi-task, reflection and exercise, on a walk through Kletsch Park first thing in the morning. My route is about 4 miles and takes about an hour. There’s a group of about 10 regulars to wish good morning; nature to enjoy; and some good time to reflect. Usually, sometime in December the path gets icy and I move my walk to the treadmill downstairs. I find treadmill time to be very boring, so I set up my computer to watch TED Talks. TED Talks are a great way to learn something new.

TED Zander PossibilitiesLately, on my daily walks, I’ve been thinking about our questions, “Why should I be interested in the WSJ Society?” and “What good could the society do?” As fate will have it, this year, icing happened in late November, and the TED Talk at the top of my list was “The Transformative Power of Classical Music” by Benjamin Zander, the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. Last year I read the book he co-authored entitled “The Art of Possibility” — liked it, and so I was looking forward to this.

The video makes the case in, a very enjoyable way, that classical music is for everyone. Near the end he adds an insight that caught me by surprise. He noted that while the conductor’s picture may be on the DVD cover, “a conductor doesn’t make a sound . . . his job is to awaken possibility in other people.” And that insight made a notable difference in his performance. He continued, extending his insight beyond leaders to everyone for their interactions with other people. What if we all viewed our role as helping each other find their possibilities?

Click on the picture to view the video. I think you’ll enjoy it.

What do you think? “Helping each other find their possibilities” might that be a worthy direction for the WSJ Society?

Our Ambassadors for Lifelong Engagement were about that at Reunion 2014, just sharing experiences. At Reunion 2014, one of the challenges raised in the brainstorm was dealing with the loss, in retirement, of involvement with high level technology. Ambassadors, Scott Jamieson, Dennis Miller, and Lou Davit offered their experiences with astronomy, robotics, and solar energy as possibilities they are enjoying.

We each have a story to tell. Sharing it may just be the key to help someone else move on to their next step. Sharing experiences could be in Your Profile on, in a Group discussion; personal messaging; in person at a luncheon; or, some new way to be created by those engaged in the WSJ Society.

Please let us know your thoughts.

And, enjoy this season of holidays with family and friends,

Best Wishes to you all for the holidays!

Jude Anders, Editor