• Ben Zander and Everyone gets an A
Ben Zander: So I give everybody an A in the class. Everybody gets an A.
Ros Zander: Ben and I have a practice called, “Giving everyone an A” It started because Ben has a graduate class at the New England Conservatory and he had a lot of very anxious people in this class. And Ben said, “I don’t know how to get by it. So I said, “The only way to do that is to give them all an A, from the beginning of the year.” So what we developed was that every student got an A and had to write a letter, dated the following May, saying,
“Dear Mr. Zander,
I got my A because…”
So then these beautiful letters emerged. Just saying that, the person that was sort of hidden inside there, the person who the student would be, if there were no barriers, no fears, no little voices in the head, telling them what they couldn’t do.
Giving the A is a completely different paradigm. It is the paradigm of possibility. And we say that the A is a possibility to live into, not a standard to live up to.
• The story – Everyone gets and A. Matthew 20: 1-6
i) What happens in the marketplace?
• The Paradigm of Possibility
i) God is maddeningly generous. He gives everyone the same possibilities and the same the same reward – his unfailing love and mercy.
ii) His justice is mind-boggling. Even late starters can be winners because God’s Rule isn’t competitive. Everyone who genuinely wants to comes first!
iii) Under God’s Rule, it’s always Now. Matthew Fox quotes Meister Eckhart as saying, “God is always the newest thing there is”.
• In Conclusion
o Ben Zanders idea is not new – it is as old as God’s interaction with his creation – the Biblical story is all about living into the possibility – from Genesis to Revelations that is the distilled message of God. God has always given us an A (original blessing) – it is we who mark ourselves down and then live as if we deserve an F (original sin).
o Go home today and write a letter to God which starts
• Dear God
I got an A because…. And list all the reasons why and what that might look like for you.
o And you may very well begin the journey of living into the possibilities God has for you, now.