A few years ago I started a project. I was going to remove myself from the “chatterverse” (that world of mindless screeching and postings on social media, as well as the mindless world of “news entertainment”), and plunge myself into the universe of classical literature.
I would pick up where I left off decades ago in high school and college. I would take just 15 minutes a day and read the great works that made the world we live in. Classical literature is called that because they have probed the great questions of humanity and have withstood the test of time. They are read and loved by all cultures and all races, because they deal with the same issues of life that we all experience.
They are replenishing. Hopefully you are sick of the endless stupidity and anger of social media and the “news”. Hopefully you are sick of the cancel culture and people who cannot/will not engage in logic and facts, goodness, beauty, and truth. So, pick up something by Dickens or Tolstoy or Bronte and go back in time to a world of deep thought and reflection. Go back into a world of adventure and humor and courage and victory with Moby Dick or Don Quixote or The Count of Monte Cristo.
They ask and teach through stories the eternal truths of virtue, self control, love of family, patriotism. They teach us to question authority and to search for truth. Read All Quiet on the Western Front and mourn with the German and French soldiers who blindly followed their governments into needless wars. Read Huck Finn and laugh with him over the joys of innocent childhood, and the discovery of virtuous courage and honor that transcends race.
They give us a true picture of history. When you read the Illiad, you see how the Greeks saw their world. You understand what was important in British society in the Victorian era when you read Jane Eyre. Instead of relying on someone else to interpret for you, you can read their own thoughts and see for yourself what they saw.
The classics increase my vocabulary. I learn new words and concepts. I learn to focus and think through complex sentence structure (as in Dickens’ novels). I learn how to better summarize, describe, inspire, warn, direct. Your vocabulary is the limit of your world.
I want those limits…expanded. Read classical literature. You won’t regret it!