I wrote a short story a while back about a garbage man giving life lessons to a Lit major. Okay, it was semi-autobiographical. I was in school at the time doing a summer job painting dumpsters…
The story veered deeper into fiction toward the end as I was trying to figure out something profound for the garbage man to say. The main character (me) was always quoting novelists and talking in other people’s voices and the garbage man got sick of it. He turned to “me” and said:
“Ya know, Cliff, you need to put the book down every once in a while.”
That was the profound part.
At the time I really didn’t know what I was trying to say but it seemed important.
Now, I think I finally get what was percolating in ‘College Cliff’s’ head.
You have to stop taking in information to leave room for your own thoughts. There is so much to read and so many conversations to have, anthologies to study, podcasts to ingest, soundtracks on your walk, video clips to play in the background while you eat your toast,
But, as a great garbage man once said, you have to put the book down.
There’s no reason to believe that your thoughts are any less profound than the experts you plug into your ears.
Listen to yourself. You can learn a lot.