Great Books Aid Great Living

While working at my computer this morning, I have been listening to a Great Courses series entitled, “Books that Have Made History: Books that Can Change Your Life.” Today’s segment is Marcus Aurelius and his Meditations.

Prof. J Rufus Fears said something that convicted me of how I approach my self-education:

The only real reason I see for studying the “Great Books”, aside from the specious notion that these are works every educated person should read. There is not a canon of books that everyone should read. These are books who speak to you individually because they give you the values to live your life.”

The classical educators would pipe up here to say there is indeed an accepted cannon of Western Thought which gives firm grounding in good logic and ethics. I would agree to a certain extent. But to a person concerned with their daily living and having little intellectual discourse, how can they wrestle with Milton or Homer? Its all about context. I would love to participate in a Great Books discussion group, though have little time and energy to form one.

What I really want, more than being “classically educated” or even “better educated”,  is to live well within the hedges God has dug around my little soul. I must use that starting point in choosing my reading material. What goes in eventually comes out, whether in my words or deeds. Take care, little eyes, what you read!


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"I can't say I don't believe in your God, but I don't believe He meant the world to be as it is." ~Nicholas Higgins. North and South.

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you are licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what." No idea where that last quote came from, but I like it!

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