Zen Shorts

Ran across a book a day or so ago that I haven’t thought about in ages. It’s one of those wonderful books that really makes an impact on you and just seems to endure forever.

The book is “Zen Shorts” by John J. Muth, and it’s one of my all-time favorite picture books.


Yes, it’s a children’s book and if I had my way in life, it would be required reading for everyone in or going into Technology Management. I’d make it part of the course work at every college giving out any sort of degree where the words “technology” and “management” are used in the proximity of each other.

If you don’t know the book, let me summarize it for you.

Three children meet a panda named Stillwater. He is a bit of a zen master, gives out presents on his own birthday and teaches the kids some very quiet, simple and valuable lessons.

My kids (the oldest especially) used to love this book. With him, I suspect it was for the panda being a panda, but they both loved it all the same. They also “got” this book in only ways that kids can.

Stillwater teaches the kids about being calm, polite, respectful and genuine through a series of stories he tells them, examples and interactions.

It’s one of those books that you finish reading and just feel good.

Too many people in Technology Management get caught up in the stress of the job and run around snapping at people and being disrespectful. Even if unintended, it still has consequences.

We could all use a little more respect, calm, and simple enjoyment in our lives and careers.

So check out Zen Shorts. It’s a great book and never fails to give me a slightly new outlook on life and my job.

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