Whenever someone well read says something impressive, a young impressionable mind is susceptible to accepting it as some sort of life truth. Like adages.
I remember being in school and how every year end students would be filling out “slam books”, because no one knew who would stay on and who would leave. And the most common thing was to write inspirational phrases. In fact, a lot of these little books would have questions and almost 90% of them had the question: What is your favorite quote. “Live and let live”, I remember writing in most books.
As we grew a little older, another quote caught my fancy: we are what we read. I used to think it was a brilliant quote. Any book lover would think so. But then as you grow up even more, you realize that… it’s obviously not true. We encounter educated, well read people saying and doing the darnedest of things.
Men and women quoting the likes of Maya Angelou, Murakami and writers I have not read, talking about independence, free speech, existentialism and going back home to their parents for money to fund their coffee dates.
People fiercely talking about the need of a corruption free govt, need for free education, job opportunities for all, while they ask the child help at home to serve them tea.
The Woolf fans who just want a room of their own too, to sleep and eat and not do anything in life. Who are scandalized by Homosexuals and say clever things like “Men always want to be a woman’s first love – women like to be a man’s last romance”.
Self titled feminists and art enthusiasts who list ‘Fifty shades of Grey’ in erotic literature. Sophisticated folks who have read so much science that they panic like hens when someone sneezes. Because they might get swine flu.
No. We are not what we read.
I refuse to believe it.