Most Americans who read at all read junk... I think it is a fair generalization to say that European readers of fiction like novels to be challenging, to be demanding; nor do they follow trends or fashions in reading taste in the lemminglike manner of many readers in the United States.
Well I am certainly wiser than this man. It is only too likely that neither of us has any knowledge to boast of; but he thinks that he knows something which he does not know, whereas I am quite conscious of my ignorance. At any rate it seems that I am wiser than he is to this small extent, that I do not think that I know what I do not know.
The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.
One should never direct people towards happiness, because happiness too is an idol of the market-place. One should direct them towards mutual affection. A beast gnawing at its prey can be happy too, but only human beings can feel affection for each other, and this is the highest achievement they can aspire to.
But then they danced down the street like dingledodies, and shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes Awww!.
We're all fools...all the time. It's just we're a different kind each day. We think, I'm not a fool today. I've learned my lesson. I was a fool yesterday but not this morning. Then tomorrow we find out that, yes, we were a fool today too. I think the only way we can grow and get on in this world is to accept the fact we're not perfect and live accordingly.
But for me, being naked out of doors and in the water is one of the best ways I have ever found to restore my sense of blissful innocence. It takes me back to that place of my almost forgotten childhood, where I got to run around undressed without anyone telling me I had to cover up or be embarrassed.
Twenty-five years ago, while an undergraduate at Stanford, I got a job on campus as a lifeguard, deepening a love of swimming and water that has lasted throughout my life. I took the duties seriously and studied the swimmers with professional vigilance, relieved at the end of each day that no emergency rescue had been required. But the greatest challenge of the job was standing poolside in a bathing suit with my body on display.Work began in the locker room, where I changed into my Speedo and surveyed my reflection, assessing what would be on view for the next few hours. I was plagued by self-criticism. I imagined the swimmers judging my shape, until I made myself remember that I was there to guard their lives, not their fantasies. Later I performed my variation of the same ablutions everyone else did, showering and hair washing, the application of lotion and makeup -- preparations for re-entering the other world of walking upright on solid land.
One of the most satisfying experiences I know is fully to appreciate an individual in the same way I appreciate a sunset. When I look at a sunset...I don't find myself saying, 'Soften the orange a litle more on the right hand corner, and put a bit more purple along the base, and use a little more pink in the cloud color...' I don't try to control a sunset. I watch it with awe as it unfolds.http://www.listeningway.com/rogers2-eng.html