Thursday, June 14, 2007

Some Advice From Daniel Quinn

I have just finished reading Daniel (Ishmael) Quinn's Beyond Civilization: Humanity's Next Great Adventure, about which I hope to write more in the near future. For the time being, let me just recommend it to anyone interested in exploring a new way of making a living.

Near the end of the book, Quinn offers some words of advice, which I need to print out in big block letters and tape to the wall over my computer as a reminder of how I need to focus my energy. He writes:

People will listen when they're ready to listen and not before. Probably, once upon a time, you weren't ready to listen. Let people come to it in their own time. Nagging or bullying will only alienate them.

Don't waste time with people who want to argue. They'll keep you immobilized forever. Look for people who are already open to something new.

Funny I should read these words tonight, after earlier in the day writing the post below. I have learned recently to take the word "coincidence" out of my vocabulary. I like Quinn's clear and simple style of writing. And what he has to say -- more on that later.


Praxis Theatre said...

Hi Scott,

I really like the spirit of this quote. For me, it's a constant struggle to maintain equilibrium. On one hand, being open to new ideas is vital to critical thinking and (probably) vital to being a good citizen in general. On the other hand, at some point we have to form concrete ideas about stuff or we'll just be adrift without direction.

Listening is a really interesting idea. What does it mean to listen? Does it go deeper than hearing? Does listening suggest that there's a change in the listeners position? Something gained? Something given back in the act of listening?

I would love to read more of your thoughts on listening.



Scott Walters said...

Ian -- I will try to respond to your post ASAP.

All best,