“I read a good book once.” I responded.
He rolled his eyes and walked away. He is only twelve but he has this action perfected from watching his mother.
I caught up with him later to make sure that he got a real answer to his question. Those of us who do spend a significant amount of our time engaged in ratiocination have an obligation to our children to make sure that they understand there is more than just ideas to contemplate, there is reality which must be lived.
Samuel Johnson once wrote to a young student about this very issue:
“I know not any thing more pleasant, or more instructive, than to compare experience with expectation, or to register from time to time the difference between ideas and reality. It is by this kind of observation that we grow daily less liable to be disappointed. You, who are very capable of anticipating futurity, and raising phantoms before your own eyes, must often have imagined to yourself an academical life, and have conceived what would be the manners, the views, and the conversation, of men devoted to letters; how they would choose their companions, how they would direct their studies, and how they would regulate their lives. Let me know what you have expected and what you have found.” (from Boswell’s Life of Johnson, I, p. 224)
So, what have you read today, and what have you experienced? And, how do the two relate to each other?