A couple of days ago I read a book, where it was said, a realization of the heroine, that “Every joy in the world is a re-incarnation of the joy of being alive”, and I stared at that sentence, dropped the book from my hands and let my eyes un-focus and thought to myself “ Is this true to you? Do you think the same?” Then I went on and thought “Well, no, I don’t think that, but perhaps… Perhaps, to me, the joy of being alive is a root of every joy, like a primary root of every number that, combined with other things, creates every joy. So joy, every joy, has the joy of being alive in its root, but it has other things as well. It needs other things as well. It builds from other things as well.”
And so I went on to thinking about one of the silliest things like going on a roller coaster, and how the joy of being alive and being able to walk and breathe and travel all go into it, but also how the rush of danger, and the feeling of freedom, and the excitement, and how waiting in line only adds to the experience, and how being with someone else who loves roller coasters makes talking about it that much more fun, and… Endlessly going on about it in my head and maneuvering in the paths of my mind that were up until that moment completely hidden from me, even though they were inside of me.
That moment, that Drop-the-book-and-un-focus-my-eyes, is the very moment some door opened up inside of me. One sentence. That was all I needed, in order to discover a new room, unknown, not explored, surprising and eye-opening and another brick in my internal self.
And after that I came to thinking about what I was doing. I thought about how this was something I’ve been doing all my life, and how this was a part of my education, the education I’ve been going through ever since I could remember myself thinking.
The way I see it, education is the most important thing we, as humans, do. Yes, I’m talking about school education (primary, high, and academic), but that’s just a small part of it.
Education is something that needs to be constant, continuous, never relenting. It depends on the places you visit, the people you talk to (and more importantly, the people you listen to), the museums you go to and the small plaques you read next to the exhibits. It’s comprised of the books you read, the TV shows you watch, the music you listen to, the poems you can recite, the movies you can match word for word.
And it’s nothing without how you react to all of that.
Because the most important education you get is the education you inflict upon yourself.
You can talk about cause and effect, but it’s more than that. There are thoughts in me that I only came to after reading something, but I could have read it the first, second, or twentieth time. It might have happened because I dreamed about a character I knew from a book and when I woke up it drove me to believing something about myself, the world around me or something that I’ve done. There were connections I only made after watching some silly show and muting it midway to start an endless stream of consciousness, coming to an end with something so big I could have never seen it coming. I looked back, at the end of that earthquake, and squinted my eyes, and went “Ooooooh. Is that where it came from? Seems so small and insignificant, and now…”
And the thing is, it could have, just as easily, have been drowned by everything else. I could have read that sentence and just go on reading. Other people who have read that sentence in that book could just skim over it, untouched. And that’s why it’s important. I take into myself the things I choose to, but sometimes… Sometimes it just happens, and I won’t know why until much later.
Today, I can look back and originate the biggest things I ever came to realizing with the smallest things possible. I can see how my life changed simply because I started reading Harry Potter. One small book, but what it did for me is beyond measure. It made me meet who would become my best friend, would make me realize how my different way of looking at life is actually strength, and would, eventually, turn me into someone who is much closer to the person I always wanted to become.
One small thing, and the rush of the river after that.
But it’s not just letting the stream take you somewhere. It’s about choosing to jump into it. It’s about letting the book drop from your hands and go “Huh. That’s interesting. What do I think of this? How do I see this matter? Is this important to me? [Probably, because you chose to look up from the pages]”.
And here it was, that moment of understanding I had. Simple, small, and incredibly significant.