Friday, January 20, 2006

Friday Quote: On Knowing What One Wants

"A tourist may go through a museum with a Baedeker, looking conscientiously at everything important, and come out less alive than when he went in. He has looked at everything and seen nothing. He has done a great deal and it has only made him tired. If he had stopped for a moment to look at one picture he really liked and forgotten about all the others, he might console himself with the thought that he had not completely wasted his time...

Perhaps I have never asked myself whether I really wanted to become what everybody else seems to want to become. Perhaps if I only realized that I do not admire what everyone seems to admire, I would really begin to live after all...

Why do we have to spend our lives striving to be something that we would never want to be, if we only knew what we wanted?"

--Thomas Merton
from No Man Is an Island

9 comments:

Meg said...

*nods* that is a great quote.
ryc: thank you for your kind words :) Its nice to hear.

GrumpyTeacher1 said...

He cuts right to the heart of things.

alaiyo said...

Perfect. Thanks for posting this.

love, Beth

Dawn said...

Whew... what a quote! I agree he cuts right to the heart.

Megan said...

Wonderful quote.

The first paragraph resonates with what I learned in the Met Museum of Art this year.

Randy said...

Good quote!

Michael said...

What a mouthful of wisdom. Thanks for sharing.

Rae said...

I think we fill our lives with so many things, Cindy, that we don't allow ourselves to know ourselves. Too much noise and diversion makes it too loud and too busy to actually allow for introspection.

Wonderful quote, my cerebral blogging friend :D

Cindy said...

Hmmm...Merton seems to have tapped into something, eh? Eight comments and an email are rather a lot of response to a simple quote.

May have to further explore this. I know it certainly resonates with ME!

Megan-Thanks for the note about it matching up with what you learned at the museum. Confirmation from a non-related source is always great.

Rae--I think you've hit a truth, there, for sure. Maybe we're afraid to find out what we really admire for fear of it not "matching", so we distract ourselves with noise, things and busyness.

I hate fear. And I've had just about enough of it.