Letter #21 – Be terrified.
From: Brett Trapp – Oct 29, 2011
To: Brett Trapp – Oct 29, 2001
Yo. Like I said yesterday, social life in college is the best. The other thing that makes college awesome is that you get to learn, to be taught. You actually have people in your life who get paid money to make you learn. Teachers! You’ll never have this again. Crazy.
Here’s the thing though: Most people—when they graduate—forget about learning.
“College was for learning,” they think. “Life—now—is about earning, consuming, getting.”
And people get busy. The busyness fuses with stress which fuses with meetings which fuses with lots of TV time, and that creates a rusty chain of complacency. That chain is choking, and it will choke out your days. And choked days pile up into choked years. Choked years pile up into a choked life.
The non-learners forget to be curious. They forget to be in awe at creation, life, people.
This is sad.
Brett, be terrified of what you don’t know. Be terrified that there are vast acres of life you were never taught. Be terrified that there are things in your life–odorless, colorless, tasteless–that you just won’t (or can’t) deal with. The carbon monoxide of the soul. Be terrified that, today, there are roots of ignorance and wrong thinking worming into your mind. That’s happening today. Right now.
Kick the tires. Then remove the tires and put them back on again.
Don’t stop digging til you’ve found what you’re looking for. Then dig some more because you’re not there yet.
I’m talking about experiences, books, conversations, note-taking, and sit-downs with people smarter than you. And there are people smarter than you. WAAAAY smarter than you. They’ve got what you need, knowledge & wisdom. Wrest it from them. Gently assault them until your curiosity is satisfied.
Shut up and listen.
Then ask more questions.
Don’t stop asking questions until you understand.
Be terrified, Brett.
We’ll talk tomorrow.
P.S. SB: Take the Pats.