On reading

Nov 28 2016 Published by under Uncategorized

This morning I was reading a great article in the NYTimes magazine. It was about a cook, a person who is a chef at their own restaurant, putting together a meal for friends, a meal at which she could sit down and enjoy. The recipes are interesting, and some of them maybe worth trying.

But what hit me, when I was done, was the writing. This chef runs some fancy-pants restaurant in New York. I probably couldn't get a reservation there. But when I was reading this, I felt that I'd like to know this woman. I felt that she had opened up a part of herself, and that I understood some of those parts. I could make the leap from chef to scientist and see things about myself in what she said about herself.

I know lots of people who "don't have time for reading". Reading in it and of itself is just a stand-in for getting information, knowledge, stuff flowing into your head. Reading is just an efficient way to do that. To cut oneself off from that flow, to limit that flow to things that one already knows, to things in one's own narrow sphere, is to cut one's self off from life.

We do not know where our ideas come from (for the most part). We do not know what will nudge us one way or the other, in our professional lives, in our personal lives. But if we do not read, we will certainly miss out on many opportunities to be nudged. To grow. To change. Change is good. It is life itself.



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