Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Why Believe in Others (LWB Farewell Series)

As I worked through the LWB archive, this 2013 post really stood out.  Take the four minutes to watch this video, which basically says everyone wants meaning in their lives yet many factors thwart an open acknowledgement of this need.  I use this clip every year in my Deliberative Leadership class (syllabus).  The class is designed to enable 2Ls and 3Ls to reconnect and reflect on why they came to law school or, alternatively, their highest hopes.  This reflection occurs slowly over 12 weeks, yet the transformation among the students in mood, confidence, and comfort with self is palpable. By Week 13, they have come to like and respect each other in ways they never expected.  This class is entirely traceable to me finding this Viktor Frankl video clip and believing it might be true.

Below is 1972 video of Viktor Frankl, a renowned psychologist and author best known for his book, Man's Search for Meaning.   Frankl's greatest accomplishment was becoming an unflinching realist and idealist -- a person who simultaneously sees what is and what could be.   To my mind, it would be impossible to get both concepts into proper focus without reading Frankl's book, which I found to be one of the most emotionally jarring and difficult, yet necessary and valuable, experiences of my life. If you are wondering how this could be, read the book.

In the rare footage below, Frankel explains how we harm the world by not hoping for and expecting the very best in others.  

I think the point Frankl makes here has special significance for educators.

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