Yesterday, I asked how to escape the trap of education as an agent of indecision.
After posting to the blog, I opened up the copy of The Intellectual Life of the British Working Class I had just purchased. The answer was right inside; Jonathan Rose very eloquently describes the great liberating and empowering role of literature in the lives of everyday people. Throughout history, countless people of action and consequence (and no doubt many more equally worthy people of which we have never heard) have been opened to a world of learning, ideas, and attainment through the inspiration and enlightenment brought through reading the great works of literature and religion.
Books, of course, are inanimate. To grow, we must take action: read and enjoy books; think and speak and write about them. There are also dangers. On one hand lays the pitfall of becoming a dogmatist uninterested in the growth of others. On the other, the soft marshes of escapist art lure with the pleasant fragrance of decaying minds at ease.
But reading opens new worlds to us, new ideas, new ways of thinking. And the education we find within their frame allows us to step into the picture to live more thoughtfully, more fully.
More on this later. I have a full week ahead of me. Auditions, inductions, matriculation, photographs, and numerous meetings. But I feel refreshed, ready, and enthusiastic about my studies. If I can keep true to the principles and spirit of true learning within a framework of action and Christian love, roofed with the solid grace of God, I can indeed greet my challenges with a smile.