This past Sunday evening I was really happy that I saw one of Bob Simon’s last stories: his interview with New York Metropolitan Opera Music Director, James Levine. I am not an opera buff even though I appreciate classical music. Simon profiled the highlights of Levine’s return to work in late 2013 after a devastating fall that left him partially paralyzed. The store traced his career over the decades, culminating in his return to the podium in a wheelchair. The Met has provided a mechanical podium that raises and lowers him in the chair so he can conduct the musicians in his orchestra.
Also in the interview came the revealing questions about the music. One could see his knowledge and love of the music on this man’s face… one could almost feel the music as we watched him conduct and as he listened to one of his students interpreting a very difficult piece of music.
One of the parts of this interview that caught my attention was this man’s demeanor. He was soft spoken and respectful of those who worked with him, studied with him, interacted with him. Many times we find people in this position of leadership somewhat filled with ego – really puffed up. But not James Levine. Bob Simon asked what do you do when you have to yell at people. He seemed shocked that he would be asked this question for he was taken aback as he calmly answered: “I don’t yell at people. I simply do not yell at people.”
I came away from this interview with renewed faith in the human spirit. We have so many poor examples of what real leadership is in this world – especially in the top spots of this country. One of my blogger friends said today: “We have a bunch of children ruling this country who have forgotten what civil discourse and respect is all about. If they can’t learn to do better we need to replace them all with people who do know what civility and respect are.”
Perhaps we need to do something as simple as sending James Levine to Congress and getting him to offer some direction. If we all could act more like him it would be a better more harmonious world.
You will notice at the bottom of the header (above) are a list of my books. I have added the last one so you can order The Grieving Heart in paperback form. All the other books are eBooks. I hope that you will take the opportunity to read these and I hope they will help to bring you comfort and grace in time of need.