Seth Gordon, my very good friend from college recently posted a link on his Facebook Wall to a podcast he did for the local NPR affiliate in Yellow Springs, Ohio, WYSO. The podcast was part of a series called “This I Believe.” Seth’s comments, “Fortune Cookies”, were on how there are small moments throughout your day that give you hope, wisdom, and calm. He started on this thread talking about fortune cookies. These moments allow you to make sense of the world around you, see the big picture, and, inspire you to keep on keeping on:
“I hold to the idea that unlikely sources of hope and wisdom will come at me every day if I just have the capacity to listen and engage. Sometimes they change my worldview for just a moment and sometimes they help me decide which color paint to buy.
“My ability to listen closely to the pulse of my perceived world keeps me on my toes; from wrapping my faith too tightly around the scientific or the latest one sizes fits all metaphysical formula.
“For me, the fortune taps into some primal reservoir of trust in the universe – it is the prompt for a days events; the straw that breaks some block of indecision. Words on a slip of paper are caught by sensitive brain receptors that say ‘you need to hear this.’”
Ever since I met him over ten years ago, Seth has exhibited his passion for learning. Even greater is his ability to find inspiration in what many others may gloss over. He meticulously absorbs details and is constantly asking himself how he can use his newfound knowledge to better his profession and the world.
His pursuit of knowledge is infectious. Whenever he visits his family in Rhode Island, he tries to make it up to Boston. We meet for breakfast or coffee, and he always has a new book to recommend. We end up talking passionately about our professions, working through fresh and raw ideas. We try them out on each other and, most important, listen.
Seth has recommended Michael Lewis’ Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. While being a great read for a die-hard baseball fan like myself, the book also made me reconsider professional theatre subscription acquisition strategies. This came at a time when I was working at New Repertory Theatre, and we were in the strategic planning for the move to the company to the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown. How Moneyball changed my way of thinking, is a blog post in and of itself. When Seth read Moneyball, he was reconsidering how small liberal arts colleges develop their admissions strategy.
Seth is a creative ambitious thinker. His curiosity never fails him It fuels him. I daresay his curiosity serves as inspiration and motivation.
It definitely inspires and serves as a reminder to his friends to never be satisfied, never rest on your laurels, and always be learning.