A James LoPresti – Colorado, USA
At this point in my life, I indulge myself in 5 activities – literature, music, nature, teaching, and animals. I have always been a very avid reader. Even though I teach leadership and management at the university level, my academic degrees are all in literature. Books allow me to look through someone else’s eyes for a brief moment. To quote Henry David Thoreau: “How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.” My life has experienced countless eras, all of which have enriched me. As for music, it is a constant companion of mine. I play music to enhance or to accompany a particular mood through the course of my day and night – meditation, celebration, reflection. Music adds rhythm to my life. And nature adds roots to my life. Ever since I was a young boy, I have felt completely at home in nature. Although I live in the city, my home is in the Rocky Mountains, or any forest, river, seashore, meadow, or field. In the city, I am a friend, professor, consultant, neighbor. In nature I am my-SELF. My teaching is my gift back to the world. My intention when I enter a classroom is to guide and direct not only the whole class, but also the whole student within the class. What I try to achieve in my management courses, and my corporate consulting, is nothing more than an education of inclusion rather than exclusion; of integration, rather than segregation. Rather than piling on information, data, and facts, I try to make visible the hidden connections, the deeper inter-relatedness of all human constructs. Finally, my animals. I am wholly and completely in love with animals – any animal. Any activity that involves an animal, I will happily indulge in it. Animals have taught me humility, compassion, joy, humor, and unconditional love. Ironically, they have also taught me how to be more deeply human.