13Identifying the Conditions for Delight

We care about delight, and are devoting the final section of this book to it, because it is in some ways only possible when authenticity and immediacy are well tuned and coordinated. It helps to understand them first. At the same time, delight is a dimension of experience comprised of many of the intangible ingredients of good teaching and learning – the peak of good teaching and learning, by some definitions. In situations that require us to understand others and increase their understanding, sparking joy, genuine curiosity, and intrinsically motivated persistence will always be more useful than leveraging fear, lack of relevance, and routine.

Though easily fumbled, delight is fully worth pursuing (we'll explain why later). And though it often scans as play or serendipity, the implanting of delight in a product, service, or experience often requires immense skill and thoughtfulness, the timing born of immediacy, and the human touch born of authenticity (we'll explain how later, too).

But first, let's return to our pattern of introductory metaphors …If you've been following the extended metaphors in this book so far, you've played – at least mentally – on the seesaw of Authenticity and navigated the narrow, winding road of Immediacy. In this last section, we're going to ask you to consider, as metaphor, an image from a poem by the poet Rainer Marie Rilke (1875–1926).

In his 1918 poem “The Archaic Torso of Apollo,” Rilke writes about ...

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