When Choosing Not to Read is More Difficult than Reading Passively

Do you ever feel guilty not reading enough books or watching enough movies, or just simply not having enough knowledge?

Do you ever get in a slump or hit a phase where you cannot get through and complete a thick text or sit through a whole series?

Sounds like we need a short cut! As with other short cut posts in this category, I am not suggesting these methods be used for a life time solution. The short cut is more to temporarily relieve your mind of heaviness and burden, and just to lighten yourself up for a laugh. You can call it justification, call it rationalization, call it distortion, or bending the rules, but it’s just a way to put the focus somewhere else rather than coming to the conclusion we won’t make it to heaven every time.

Didn’t finish reading or watching something? Take a short cut. A big time short cut. Sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes try just not reading it. Next time someone chastises or admonishes you for not keeping up with what everyone is keeping up with, you can say you didn’t want to lose your own creativity and individuality. In other words, you purposely didn’t expose yourself to the material because you were afraid to be influenced by the interpretation of others; you were afraid of your ideas simply becoming a paraphrase of what you read or watched.

I know this short cut won’t hold water over the long term, and it goes against the quote of “standing upon the shoulder of giants,” where your own creativity and accomplishments depend on understanding and studying those greats that come before you, but sometimes, sometimes, can we please be allowed to get a little pleasure locking ourselves up in a small space surrounded by four walls with nothing accessible. No books, no manuals, no prescriptions, no top 10 lists, and just see what we come up with.

Teacher? This is why I didn’t do this particular homework assignment? Well, this particular teacher didn’t give me a zero, but actually made me do a mini-experiment and follow through on purposely locking myself in an area for a prolonged period of time without access to any reading materials or other media. She predicted that in those circumstances, the games and ideas I come up with to prevent insanity will still come from materials I read previously. Though I may create, spin, and interpret differently, I am still dependent on others, even when all alone.

Gosh, so the short cut didn’t turn out all that short after all. It may actually be more difficult to right up front put on a stance of not reading something rather than just reading and accepting something passively. Hmmm…not reading actually means reading critically? You still have to read it, to argue why we shouldn’t read it or shouldn’t be influenced by it?

By the way, she’s one of the best teachers I’ve ever had, and one who influenced me into making use of the short cuts into something more.

-Patrick Law

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3 Comments

Filed under Short Cuts

3 responses to “When Choosing Not to Read is More Difficult than Reading Passively

  1. I think we are always influenced by other things — and as much as we want to just be pure and original and come up with everything ourselves.. I think you’re right… even when you try to not read or not watch, sometimes you wind up still knowing about it. ?? so odd!

  2. Hello Gina,
    Thanks for visiting. Yeh, I forget who said it..but many use the expression or slant that ‘even if you say you are apolitical, that is a political stance in itself.’ And that kind of argument is applied to many subjects…for example, having no philosophy is also a philsophy in itself.

    Hmmm…I don’t know…why..but your comments kind of made me think of this…

    Maybe that even when we ‘not’, it’s still a choice we make? And that choice still has a history to it?
    -patrick

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