Will Schwalbe Wants to Change Your Mind – Literally!
NEW YORK CITY – “The art of conversation today is not about listening. Its become waiting for your turn to talk. Instead of listening, we’re thinking about what we are going to say next.”
So stated Author Will Schwalbe, who will deliver the centerpiece presentation – and inspiring talk “One of Life’s Greatest Pleasures” at SPAC’s annual fall Lecture Luncheon on Thursday, October 18. Reached in Manhattan at his offices at MacMillan Publishers, the Author of three books (Books For Living;The End of Your Life Book Club; andSend) provides a strong, yet simple prescription for turning the tide against the way we have surrendered our communicating ability to modern conveniences:
Put down the phone. Walk away from the computer. Pick up a book. Read it.
“I’m no Luddite,” Will said, laughing “I use technology like anyone else. But just because we have technology – it doesn’t mean it’s good for everything. It’s terrible for communicating emotion, for instance. But we are allowing technology to constantly interrupt our lives. To me, reading represents a valuable reset – but it’s much more than just the ‘getting away from it all’ aspects.”
How so? “Books, by their nature, are mostly designed to be read linearly. They retrain our mind to listen – tame that impulse in all of us to be the “Little Emperor” and run the show.”
We Demand instant answers, instant information, instant enlightenment. “Believe it or not, sometimes we need to ‘sleep on it’,” Will said “and allow time for more nuanced concepts and advocacies to be absorbed and considered. That’s why i’m an advocate of reading broadly. Not just the things you think you are interested in. Because I believe reading should be rebranded as ‘radical listening,’ the wider the range of subject matter the better.
“In this context, every book is a ‘self-help’ book!” He concluded.
Think about your own communication patterns – the rarity of having an actual conversation these days where somebody, yes – even you, aren’t constantly looking at your phone: Returning texts or emails.
Will Schwalbe’s advocacy is nostalgic in a sense, but actually quite progressive. “I have so much to say about the joy of reading,” he said, “unlike other forms of junk and disposable information, a book – the physical book itself – represents a commitment to have something last for a long period of time.”
So, you can use your phone to buy a ticket to SPAC’s fall Lecture Luncheon (visit spac.org). But don’t be surprised if, after you hear Will Schwalbe speak, you find yourself turning it off to pick up a book, or to have a real, undistracted conversation with your neighbor. Imagine that!
“Will Schwalbe’s The End of Your Life Book Club is one of the most moving and affecting books I have ever read. He is a deeply humane, humorous and inspiring speaker, as well. We are privileged to have him as part of this engaging afternoon,” said Elizabeth Sobol, SPAC’s president + CEO. “A special thanks to the SPAC Action Council (the event co-chairs are Jenn Connors and Trish LaRosa) for making this highly anticipated event possible, which directly supports SPAC’s classical programming and educational activities.”
“I’ve already given The End of Your Life Book Club to three people as gifts!” said SPAC Action Council President Nicole Sheeler, “And plenty more are getting them from me this holiday.”
To learn more about Will Schwalbe, visit His WEBSITE.
The SPAC Fall Lecture Luncheon is presented by the SPAC Action Council. The Action Council raises more than $250,000 annually for SPAC’s world-class classical music, dance and children’s programming. Past speakers for the event have included New York Times bestselling author Andrew Gross, award-winning NPR host and correspondent Jacki Lyden, acclaimed novelist Elizabeth Brundage, historian David Garrard Lowe, and literary dramatist Betty Spinelli.
The schedule of events for the Luncheon is as follows:
9:30 A.M. | Continental Breakfast
10:00 A.M. | Presentation: Will Schwalbe, Spa Little Theatre
11:30 A.M. | Boutique Shopping, Hall of Springs
1:00 P.M. | Elegant Fall Luncheon, Hall of Springs
Cost to attend the fundraiser is $85 and includes admission to the breakfast, lecture, Hall of Springs luncheon and mini-boutique shopping event. Nearly 20 local shops and boutiques will be onsite with an assortment of fine accessories, gifts, apparel, and specialty foods for sale.
Tickets may be purchased at spac.org or by contacting Seth Buono at 518.584.9330, ext. 101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 2, 2018