My dad sent me a link to a transcription of a valedictory speech. I read it, and loved it. It reminds me a lot of my post about education back in January, except more articulate and in-depth. As my dad's Facebook status reads, "Anyone touched by the education system should read this. Yes, that's everyone."
Please read the speech. But if you don't (shame on you), below is an anecdote from the beginning:
There is a story of a young, but earnest Zen student who approached his teacher, and asked the Master, "If I work very hard and diligently, how long will it take for me to find Zen? The Master thought about this, then replied, "Ten years . ."
The student then said, "But what if I work very, very hard and really apply myself to learn fast -- How long then?" Replied the Master, "Well, twenty years." "But, if I really, really work at it, how long then?" asked the student. "Thirty years," replied the Master. "But, I do not understand," said the disappointed student. "At each time that I say I will work harder, you say it will take me longer. Why do you say that?"
Replied the Master, "When you have one eye on the goal, you only have one eye on the path."
I don't remember where I wrote it, but in some speech or essay, I repeated the maxim "It's the journey that counts." And I believe it. After all, what's the end result of life? Death. So we focus on life. Because that's what matters.
Life isn't just about accomplishing things- it's about doing things.
I didn't do NaNoWriMo last year because I wanted to get a book published. I did it because I love to write, and having a goal outside of myself gave me the motivation to do a lot of it. (Okay, maybe it was partially because I want to get published...but honestly, that's just a bonus. I would do it even if it was illegal for me to publish.)
Although many people do, I don't go to school just to get it done and over with (well, I did in middle school). I do it because I enjoy it (most of the time.) I like to learn things. Plus, it's sort of mandatory. Haha.
I don't read to get through books. I read because I love the experience of reading a good novel.
And so on.
Emily has started (or at least, is planning on starting) reading another book just to prolong the time she gets to read her other one. That's how much she enjoys reading it.
And, I think, it's stuff like this that makes it all worth it. Doing stuff you enjoy simply because you enjoy it, and to improve yourself as a person.