Thursday, August 19, 2010

On Success and Survival

I came across this on a bookmark, while browsing the books on my shelf. I was so moved. I can't remember ever seeing it before or maybe like a lot of times, something doesn't resonate until we're ready. Enjoy!

The best thing for being sad, replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails.

You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then- to learn.

Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.

Learning is the thing for you. Look at what a lot of things there are to learn- pure science, the only purity there is. You can learn astronomy in a lifetime, natural history in three, literature in six.

And then, after you have exhausted a milliard lifetimes in biology, and medicine and geography and history and economics- why, you can start to make a cartwheel out of the appropriate wood, or spend fifty years learning to begin to learn to beat your adversary at fencing. After that, you can start again on mathematics, until it is time to learn to plough.

From The Once and Future King

By T.H. White

After reading more about The Once and Future King on the Internet, I agree with a comment written within an essay about it that said. "The world of Arthur and the world of today may seem to be completely and solidly different, but if you read between the lines, they are clearly based on the same principles and have the same structure for success and survival"