In times of peril, it is easy to forget to have a spirit of gratitude. Indeed, it may even seem inappropriate to be grateful when there are so many struggles invading the peace that should be all pervasive in our world. As I was listening to my favorite piece of music, “Ode to Joy,” I was struck by its lasting beauty and power… and I was overcome with gratitude.
Adding the Human Voice
But why? And am I the only one so moved by it? In 1972, the Council of Europe made Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” its official anthem. Years later, in 1985, the European Union did the same. This symphony is considered by many leading musicologists to be one of the greatest works in western music. What makes it so special is Beethoven’s use of the human voice; he was the first major composer to include it within a symphony.
The element that set it apart was the addition of the human voice…today it could be your voice, or mine, as we sing or hum along, that brings it to life. It could be without words that we feel grateful for the treasures we keep hidden in our hearts. It could be with an email or text or call, that we feel and express our gratitude.
“The element that set it apart was the addition of the human voice…today it could be your voice, or mine, as we sing or hum along, that brings it to life.”
Thank you, Illinois ASBO Members
Today I am expressing my gratitude for my friends and mentors in my Illinois ASBO world, especially Mark Altmayer, Craig Collins and Mike Jacoby. It was during this Spring’s Leadership Institute, the first in-person meeting post-COVID-19, that we were able to come together as a group; we were able to hone our leadership skills and develop professionalism and collegiality that brings members together and sets Illinois ASBO members apart from others. We truly are a family. In our shared work, mission, and commitment to providing our students with every resource and opportunity available, we are one.
In May of 2020, Ron O’Connor shared a post in the Leadership Community Blog group in Peer2Peer that I’ve never forgotten. If you have a minute, please read it
Ron’s post touched and inspired me…it hits close to home. It reminds me that we are first people, then professionals. It reminds me we each have a story that explains our core values and that we must take time to pause, reflect, find joy, and finally express gratitude. Our humanity is our magic. Vulnerability and courage are our finest gifts.
Thank you to Jim Fritts, Cheryl Crates, Kurt Valentin and Risa Hanson for being friends and mentors who have been models of excellence; it has been a privilege to know and work with you.
“There is not enough time or space in the day for much outside of the demands of work and family, so thank you to those that read peer2peer…”
Lastly, I am grateful to you for your time and interest. There is not enough time or space in the day for much outside of the demands of work and family, so thank you to those that read peer2peer; our brain trust either reaffirms that which we already know or that which we need to know. Either way, it’s always worth the time.
If you have a few more minutes to spare, please watch
the following youtube video, “Ode to Joy,” performed as a flash mob.
I hope you feel joy and gratitude; it is the greatest gift you can give to yourself and those that have touched your life.
Assistant Business Manager
Harvard CUSD 50
If you have a topic you would like to share on the Leadership Center Blog, please contact Russ Coomans at firstname.lastname@example.org.