Books Inspire Thought

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I often feel ashamed to quote from the book I most recently read. I think my discomfort is based, partly, in a scene from Good Will Hunting where Matt Damon's character shows that a cocky grad student is merely parroting a passage and not actually thinking about it. [Note: I am not recommending that movie. It is full of inappropriate content and tons of swearing. But, if you're interested in the entire quote--which is quite fascinating despite the f-bomb--you can read it here.] In the end, Matt Damon suggests the guy should borrow books from the library rather than spend a fortune on his degree.

And, in many ways, he's right. If your formal learning experience merely ensures you can regurgitate information on demand, you've failed to get an education.

Of course, interacting with an idea and applying it to an experience is exactly what an education is all about! So there is nothing wrong with "trying out" the ideas you agree with in a book. And if you're applying a passage, you're thinking about it. And, sure, someone may respond to the idea you present with a rebuttal, but that's normal. Disagreements--when handled with honesty and love--help us discover truth.

So, please, talk about the books you read. Build off the things you've learned and connect them to ideas you already had. Weigh them against each other. Question. Consider. Read more. Because books inspire thought when your goal is to use what you've learned to do more than impress some girl or embarrass someone else.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

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