food for thought – pt. I
As part of this series, I want to share particularly inspiring quotes I come across that are relevant for my personal journey, shaped my way of thinking and generally have a lasting effect on me and the way I live life.
In der "food for thought" Kategorie teile ich inspirierende Zitate, die für meinen persönlichen Lebensweg besonders relevant sind, mich zum Nachdenken anregen oder meine Denkmuster generell nachhaltig geprägt haben.
Today I would like to share a quote that is particularly relevant for the content I produce on this website, especially the "Current Top Picks" series. It also reflects one of my core beliefs about society and our fundamental values for sustained civil coexistence.
“We don’t need a list of rights and wrongs,
tables of dos and don’ts;
we need books, time, and silence. Thou shalt not is soon forgotten, but Once upon a time lasts forever.”
by Philip Pullman
Sir Philip Pullman CBE is a british novelist. He is the author of the famous "His Dark Materials" trilogy. The first part of the series, called "Northern Lights", was later produced as a movie titled "The golden compass".
His quote emphasizes the positive influence books have on personal development and our thought patterns. Reading demonstrably enhances our analytical, logical, creative and critical thinking skills. Many scientists have argued that through reading certain genres, we can also significantly foster our imaginative and innovative thinking abilities.
In the current era of fast consumption and instant gratification, when everything needs to be delivered and ready within minutes, with shortened attention spans and decreasing patience for others and ourselves, this quote serves as an important reminder to take a step back every once in a while, to relax and enjoy the world around us. It encourages us to be more in tune with ourselves and our well-being by being present in the moment and not taking everything so dimly.
I have made it a habit for myself to recognize when I begin to feel increasingly stressed or irritated, and schedule times in nature or calm surroundings where I can read a good book, pick up my thoughts or begin writing myself. In addition, I have reduced social media screen time and filtered out unnecessary content that did not serve me or my interests well.
This is not to say that reading a book in nature is for everyone, some relax through doing sports or following other hobbies and passions, of course. But I firmly believe that if we take care of our personal well-being, we as a society become more tolerant, empathetic, patient and generally content. By first working on ourselves through cultivating a healthy mental and emotional state, each one of us can thereby improve society as a whole and help realign our values for a civil, peaceful and open-minded global community. For me personally, books provide the perfect toolset to take this first step.