Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Thrill of Learning

"There is nothing in this world worth learning that can be learned without a struggle."

That is, in fact, the thrill of learning. If a thing was easy to learn, there would be no kick in mastering it. The thrill is to struggle away with some subject for a long time, and then quite suddenly to have the excitement of discovering that one understands what before was unintelligible.

Damon Runyon
Damon Runyon wrote to his son, "You will improve the more you write. Good writing is simply a matter of application, but I learned many years ago that the words will not put themselves down on paper in dreams or in conversations." Writing is struggling to write- not dreaming about writing, or talking about writing.

Paderewski, perhaps the greatest of the pianists, thought nothing of going over a bar of music as many as forty times until he was sure he was playing it exactly as it ought to be played. Before a concert he always played through his entire programme though no doubt he had already played the pieces of which it was composed times without number. One day he played before Queen Victoria, and the Queen was deeply moved by his performance. "Mr. Paderewski," she said, "you are a genius."  "That may be," answered Paderewski, "but before I was a genius, I was a drudge."

No one will ever acquire any kind of knowledge or any kind of greatness without a struggle. But in the struggle lies the thrill.

 --all of the above is from Daily Celebration by William Barclay, Glasgow,Scotland
William Barclay

(all pictures from Google Images)

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