Quote of the Week: Benjamin Zander on Living Life with a Positive Attitude

Jan 27, 2008 Published under Favorite Quotes, Leadership, Life


"I discovered that a person cannot live a full life under the shadow of bitterness."

- Benjamin Zander’s father.  As reported by Benjamin at a closing session in Davos, his father was in Auschwitz and then interned in a refugee camp in England, followed by many setbacks, yet always had a positive disposition.

Two years ago, Conductor Benjamin Zander gave a talk to our youth leaders.  He explained how the ‘downward spiral’ mentality must be replaced by ‘radiant possibilities.’  He encourages people, after making mistakes, to think ‘how fascinating,’ learn the lesson, make the best of it and see the silver lining and move on.

Benjamin shared how, shortly after 9/11, New Yorkers attended a concert in Carnegie Hall with the Boston Philarmonic. Every New Yorker attended for free, including 150 firemen and 100 police officers, and each ticket was purchased by an anonymous person from Boston in solidarity.

He also related the story of a woman who, as a child during World War II, chastized her younger brother, "Why did you forget your shoes?" It turned out these were the last words she would ever tell her brother, who was killed that afternoon.  From then on, she committed she’d only say things to people that could be the last things you say to them.

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