Looking Within

I’ve been reading the Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance for a while (from November, to be specific), and though I have mixed feelings, I love certain concepts the author mentions.

Like how irrelevant grades and degrees are, for instance.

“This surprising result supported a hunch he had had for a long time: that the brighter, more serious students were the least desirous of grades, possibly because they were more interested in the subject matter of the course, whereas the dull or lazy students were the most desirous of grades, possibly because grades told them if they were getting by.”

And it’s true. We’re always looking for something to point us to the right direction. We want someone to acknowledge us and tell us we’re doing the right thing. We want an authoritative figure to assure us we’re getting by.

But do we need that? Perhaps we should look further than other people to judge our abilities. Perhaps we should look at ourselves, and define ourselves, by ourselves.

“He had wanted his students to become creative by deciding for themselves what was good writing instead of asking him all the time. The real purpose of withholding the grades was to force them to look within themselves, the only place they would ever get a really right answer.”

It’s OK to be average at something. But unless we look within and accept how much we can grow, we may never understand how we’re getting by.

I enjoy reading this book. Even if it does make a good pillow.

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