We live in the midst of a diamond field. Riches beyond measure lie strewn on the ground, free for the taking. The sun rises, and like excited children we scamper from one pretty glint to another, filling our tiny hands. But then we become bored with what we hold and drop a fortune as a new sparkle catches our eyes. The day passes. We tire ... and too often end up with pockets full of sand.

The diamonds are ideas. Honest teachers are eager to share what they know with honest students. Libraries are full of worthwhile books. The more we learn the more we can learn, as new concepts build upon the foundations laid by earlier studies. But there's a twist: deep knowledge takes time, effort, and steadiness. Flitting from topic to topic doesn't pay off. Neither does a foolish pursuit of novelty. There aren't many short-cuts to discovery, though there are lots of dead-ends and by-roads that lead nowhere: pseudo-science, false revisionism, the latest mystic fads, ....

Far better to focus, persist, and grow in understanding of important subjects. That path is its own reward. It also offers the hope of making new contributions to human knowledge --- an enduring gift to the future. Few are fortunate enough to do that, but many more could try.

(See also the ^zhurnal entry of 30 April 1999, WhatIsMyLife, a poem by Richard Ropiquet.)

Sunday, November 12, 2000 at 20:06:18 (EST) = 2000-11-12

TopicSociety - TopicLibraries - TopicThinking

(correlates: AgesOfWork, InMyJournal, OnStickiness, ...)