With my years of reading behind me, I smugly feel quite well read. I can normally find something I’ve read that applies and enriches what I am experiencing. so whilst contemplating this post I thought it would be easy to reel off a whole host of sage thoughts.
So I sat and thought, and thought. What about…no. Oh yeah…no. So I left it alone for a while. Unconciously tackling the problem. Only to find when I returned to it I drew a blank.
This made me think about what are my central beliefs and where did they come from? What are some of the beliefs I regularly use in daily life?
So here goes (I feel a bit vulnerable about this)
The truth will always come out, so don’t lie – that’s from Eastenders (a TV Programme – “You ain’t my muvva!”)
Do unto others as you would have done to you – that’s roughly from the Bible (a book!)
People will always get you back – that’s from a training course on Managing People
You get what you give – that’s from quite a few songs.
Be yourself wherever you are, people are just like you – that’s from my Dad.
We have more in common with strangers than differences – that may well be from reading, but I’m not sure of the source.
We’re not here for very long so wring out every bit of enjoyment from whatever situation you find yourself in – that, sadly, I’ve learnt myself from losing people and seeing people in pain.
Not really many books here are there? I think that is because media like TV and music and poetry are are distilled, they need to grab you instantly, so their messages are rapid burn to get your attention, easier to understand and remember. However, messages within books are much more slow burn, they creep into you gradually, layer upon layer of different books subtly building into a belief system. These form more nebulous or meta-beliefs like
humanism, tolerance, respect, honesty, self awareness, empathy
These are at the core of me (I hope) and in the same way they go in gradually by osmosis, they come out in subtler ways too.
I do have some things I’ve learnt from books, but they are much more focussed on the details.
walk with a straight back – Penelope’s Hat – Ronald Frame (this is the same as stand tall, it’s helped me get through some difficult situations at least looking confident, but as my friend told me it’s not much good if you’re considering suicide)
you’re not raising children, you’re raising adults – Raising Boys – Steve Biddulph ( fantastic and easy to read parentling, strongly recommended, but this particular quote really sticks with me and I constantly use it and tell other parents too).
So it’s hard to reveal the impact of books on you and your core beliefs. I do feel I have been created by books (I just hope I’ve thought about them enough to become the best person I can).