Sunday, August 17, 2008
School begins again this week, and as I get ready preparing curricula and lessons, one thought keeps coming back to me. Look at the picture on the left. If you'd been asleep for the last seven days you might not know who that man is, but chances are you do. Here's a young man who was labeled/diagnosed as ADHD at school, and given little chance of success. And what does he do to focus his mind each time he gets ready to jump in the water? The answer's in the picture. And the answer's even bigger when you really think about it. It's not the content of what he's listening to that matters. Hundreds of bloggers have speculated about what's on his iPod and what those lyrics mean to him as he prepares to swim. Yet he himself told the NBC commentators that it's nothing more than some hip-hop - just the things he likes to listen to. No analysis needed. It's simple. Music's power is part of what helps an academically-discarded kid become the greatest athlete in Olympic history. Congratulations, Michael Phelps, you have helped millions realize the power of single-minded determination and devotion to your skill, and yet you accepted the World's praise with true humility. You are a role model in many more ways than just being a truly outstanding swimmer.