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When I gave a nun a Julio Iglesias LP.

I clearly remember the day I took my most prized LP (Yes! LP,😆 ...and not CD...) to give to the nun who is also my teacher at the preschool of the school I was enrolled in. Forgive me for the choice of popular singer, but with all due respect to the lovers of such a famous singer, I was 6 years old at the time and had a very different taste in music. Today you'd have to tie me to a chair to hear anything produced after 1930.

But it's not the fact of the gift itself and the nun's reaction that I remember most. I don't actually remember the face she made, but I can imagine it. 😂. What I really remember is the tremendous happiness of sharing something I loved so much I actually wanted to get rid of the item and being so happy to share it.

This is exactly what I experience again and again when I teach, when I share with someone a musical experience that has made me incredibly happy. This is also the reason why I took my children to the theater to listen to music. It's also why I've stood in endless standing room queues to give students from countries where opera is banned the great experience of attending an opera event in the music capital for so little money.

I would not have been able to develop my great love for classical music, theater and opera if I had not been able to pass it on to those around me, at least a little. Every time I have succeeded in producing an opera for +OPERA and I have witnessed the joy or sorrow of the audience listening and watching one of my productions, I have experienced complete happiness. Every evening when I shared one of his productions at the Seefestspiele Mörbisch with my husband during the years that he was artistic director there..... These are emotions of pure personal satisfaction that are difficult to forget. Feelings that are no more intense than those I feel when I realize that one of my students has been infected by my deep love for the stage and music. That through their instruments I live out the passion that has nourished me all my life.

Realizing that they are the ones moving and telling stories, that I have inspired and guided them to do so. I define all of this as the special magic that makes us educators, cultural mediators, directors, love our vocation and dedication so much; because sharing our love and passions just makes us happier.

I could tell you now that there is a scientific explanation for all of this: the reward centers in the brain that are activated when we give; the dopamine and oxytocin that's released... but I'm not going to do that. This is simply because explaining the chemical reactions that take place in our brains takes away a bit of the magic, which I find very romantic and idealistic. And on the other hand, if the explanation of this phenomenon clarifies the process, then it shouldn't be a solution to medicate all those cretins, criminals and ruthless power-mongers who only want to satisfy their selfishness to get the same reactions in their sick brains ?


With a bit of luck, we all remember a teacher in our younger years who used great magic to enchant even the students who could not finish anything. The few who even kindled the flame of a hitherto unimagined passion for a subject so much that they decided on their future profession. There is always talk of creating a reward system for teachers in schools who receive the best qualifications from students or parents, but this is wrong. The reward is already in that wonderful thing that is sharing something you really love. Only teachers who love what they study, love the subject they teach are truly great teachers. There is no pedagogy, no methodical schools that can replace this fact.

So where is the mistake in an education system that lacks such teachers in large numbers? In the education system itself... It sounds paradoxical, but it is true. Because children and young people who don't discover their passions are adults who don't do what really moves them and makes them happy. If the world is full of teachers who don't even know why they're doing it, how can they want to pass on anything I've talked about so far?

Give without waiting to receive, because giving is the reward.

And I don't believe in this universal law out of sheer esotericism, I'm not talking about karma or anything like that.

A truth that is all the more necessary to be emphasized today, in an age darkened by inflation and the fact that many people's purchasing power is dwindling. Not only should we appeal to all of our consciences to help those who are having a hard time, but also activate within all of us the memory that we were all happy to share something. It's about sharing our time, our experience, our help and also, if we can, our material goods. We don't need populist politicians who want to seize power by taking advantage of times of material hardship for the neediest and families with the least purchasing power. Not only can we all avoid extreme political situations by sharing, but we can also help increase our happiness.


In fact, I am one of the chosen few who can and want to share what I have learned and what I love not only with my students, but with everyone who crosses my path. And I do it because it makes me happy, like when I gave the Julio Iglesias record to Mother Amparo (that was the name of the nun who is still recovering from the shock if she hasn't already died).'

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