I thought this would be a great chance to share some of my favorite authors and books and some of the awesome things I’ve learned!
I want to introduce you to G. K. Chesterton. I discovered Chesteron while reading C. S. Lewis, the author of Narnia and Screwtape Letters. I found it on a list somewhere of books that influenced C. S. Lewis, so of course, I had to read it.
And I discovered one of the best wits and spiritual giants ever! Perhaps I’ll explore some of his works later. This selection comes from a series of essays critiquing some of Chesterton’s contempories including Kipling and Shaw:
There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person. Nothing is more keenly required than a defence of bores. When Byron divided humanity into the bores and bored, he omitted to notice that the higher qualities exist entirely in the bores, the lower qualities in the bored, among whom he counted himself. The bore, by his starry enthusiasm, his solemn happiness, may, in some sense, have proved himself poetical. The bored has certainly proved himself prosaic.
We might, no doubt, find it a nuisance to count all the blades of grass or all the leaves of the trees; but this would not be because of our boldness or gaiety, but because of our lack of boldness and gaiety. The bore would go onward, bold and gay, and find the blades of grass as splendid as the swords of an army. The bore is stronger and more joyous than we are; he is a demigod — nay, he is a god. For it is the gods who do not tire of the iteration of things; to them the nightfall is always new, and the last rose as red as the first.
I tend to paraphrase Chesterton: there are two kinds of people in the world: the boring and the bored. Which are you going to be?
I’m not a thrill seeker by any means. I don’t go sky diving or bungee jumping. But I have noticed moments wanting excitement or wishing I was somewhere else.
I learned an important lesson from Chesterton: we can find meaning and fulfillment wherever we are. Sure, I’d heard “the grass is always greener on the other side” but this passage finally made the idea stick.
Do you find yourself dozing during a sacrament meeting talk? Stop trying to listen to every sentence the speaker is saying and try to engage with some of the ideas, even if you feel they could be better developed. What scripture did they use? Does their interpretation or application differ from your own perspective? Do you agree with their premise? What would you change? How are some of the audience reacting? There is so much material here to work with!
Are you dreading reading a textbook? Don’t try to read it from start to stop. Examine the chapter. Read the introduction. Examine headings and sub-headings. Look at all the equations the author introduces. Familiarize yourself with all the illustrations and try to anticipate the concepts the author introduces in the text. It feels a lot better, and sometimes you can get through the text faster!
Those give you a few starting points. But perhaps you have a time you feel you’re just going through the motions, or you find yourself zoning out. Find a way to be present!