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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Get to the Root of Things

In the early pages of his Relativity: The Special and General Theory, Albert Einstein presents the image of "conscientious teachers" chasing students about on the "lofty staircase" of Euclidean geometry "for uncounted hours."

What a great image of the nonsense that is substituted for "education." Not that Euclid in himself is a waste of time; but we tend to spend so much time on the frills, the incidentals, that we seldom get to the heart of the matter.

And I'm not just talking about education.

The amount of time between when I sit down at my computer and when I actually start producing something is often alarming. Procrastinators R us.

Often, we fail to take the direct route because we don't know what to do. Or because we aren't clear on our priorities. Or because of plumb laziness.

So whatever it is you're supposed to do, get clear and get at it. Jump in head first. As Marian the Librarian told her student, "Now, don't dawdle, Amaryllis." Get down to brass tacks. Dive in.

Get to the root of things.

You'll be happier.

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