“… it’s not just learning things that’s important. It’s learning what to do with what you learn and learning why you learn things at all that matters.”—Princess Rhyme, The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster (via ofthingsthatare)
“Fiction has been maligned for centuries as being “false,” “untrue,” yet good fiction provides more truth about the world, about life, and even about the reader, than can be found in non-fiction.”—Clark Zlotchew
“Only gradually do you come to appreciate that the occupation you aspire to is harder than you thought, that the supply of other young, self-anointed apples of their own eyes is inexhaustible, and that you’re not as uniquely gifted as you’d thought … It’s surely a fine emotional art—dousing your hollow hauteur without quenching the fire in your belly altogether—but the kids who master it come out the other side both shit-hot at their professions and bearable as human beings.”—Lionel Shriver, Big Brother (via proseprunings)
“Many places you would like to see are just off the map and many things you want to know are just out of sight or a little beyond your reach. But someday you’ll reach them all, for what you learn today, for no reason at all, will help you discover all the wonderful secrets of tomorrow.”—the Princess of Sweet Rhyme, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
“You may not see it now, but whatever we learn has a purpose and whatever we do affects everything and everyone else, if even in the tiniest way. Why, when a housefly flaps his wings, a breeze goes round the world; when a speck of dust falls to the ground, the entire planet weighs a little more; and when you stamp your foot, the earth moves slightly of its course. Whenever you laugh, gladness spreads like the ripples in a pond; and whenever you’re sad, no one anywhere can be really happy. And it’s much the same thing with knowledge, for whenever you learn something new, the whole world becomes that much richer.”—the Princess of Pure Reason, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
“… it’s not just learning things that’s important. It’s learning what to do with what you learn and learning why you learn things at all that matters.”—Princess Rhyme, The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster
“Have you every heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause in a roomful of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re all alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful, if you listen carefully.”—The Soundkeeper, The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster
In German, we don’t say “I love you”, we say “Schnitzel Wurst Lederhosen, Alter, Herr Pünktlichkeit” which roughly translates to ‘I adore you so much, I would even take the Deutsche Bahn to get to you’. How profound and beautiful.
It is to Alice’s credit that she doesn’t hesitate for a moment to discard her preconceptions when she comes across situations that patently refute them. In doing so, she displays an admirable readiness to encounter reality on its own terms, a receptive cast of mind that many philosophers would include among the most important “intellectual virtues” or character traits that assist in the discovery of truth.
Real wisdom is not the knowledge of everything, but the knowledge of which things in life are necessary, which are less necessary, and which are completely unnecessary to know. Among the most necessary knowledge is the knowledge of how to live well, that is, how to produce the least possible evil and the greatest goodness in one’s life. At present, people study useless sciences, but forget to study this, the most important knowledge.