Tipping the balance #blideo

I only ever saw the movie Equilibrium once, and it was a long time ago. I thought at the time what a dystopian picture it portrayed of the future. It's a world where all citizens are required to take drugs that repress their emotions. Now I've been #blideo challenged by Amy Burvall to interpret this clip from the movie. I don't remember seeing it when I watched the film, so I guess I'm approaching it with fresh eyes.

My first reaction after seeing this was that Preston, a member of the elite law enforcement agency, is steeped in the traditions of his society. He is fully invested in the requirement to repress his emotions, and knows all of the 'reasons' why this is demanded by his superiors. And then, during a house search, he discovers an old recording of a Beethoven symphony and in an unguarded moment, he decides to play it - on an old gramophone. As he waits for the music to start, he toys with a snow globe - a piece of trivia which holds his attention briefly. Then the music starts. Preston has an epiphany. In surprise, he drops the snow globe, which shatters on the floor... and he begins to weep as the music washes over him.

This speaks to me of the trivia of life, the irrelevant objects that grab our attention and within which we invest so much of our energy. We often we waste precious time on the less important things in life, when in reality we should be seeking the creative and emotional experiences that might forever shape our characters and define our lives. How many hours do children waste in school, studying subjects or content that will be useless or irrelevant when they finally leave school? How much content do schools deliver that resemble the snow globe? How much is a Beethoven symphony?

Another thought is that the record and the gramophone were old technology, from a bygone age. And yet, the music it produced was able to reduce a man to tears. Music has the power to reach deep down into our very souls and does so because it bypasses our intellect and aims directly for our hearts, our emotions. Regardless of the technology used, powerful experiences can be life changing. This is what all educators should seek to facilitate. It's a tipping of the balance for better learning experiences.

Photo by NCinDC on Flickr

Creative Commons License
Tipping the balance #blideo by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


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