Cheers! Sorry for the radio silence recently, but I’m in Scotland! I got here a week ago for a writing program and have been quite busy since.
Part of that included reading Paper Towns by John Green. Oh, wow. It is rare that I find a book or an author that really truly affects me and makes me think. However, every time I read one of John Green’s books, I have some sort of epiphany. He is simply an amazing story teller with a penchant for giving his stories a “moral heart” as my professor likes to call it. Paper Towns is about realizing that everyone around you is also a person with emotions, problems, relationships etc. This may seem obvious, but if you really think about it, we are the center of our own universes by default. How we think about other people is usually through the lens of their relationships to ourselves or how we have perceived them. Another thing is that we often think we know a whole person. But we don’t. We can never really know a whole person, we might only know half of the things that he or she is thinking. We only know what they want us to, likewise people only know us the way we choose for them to. We get caught up, however, in the notion that our version of someone is the right and true version, which may not be the case. This is what happens to Quentin with Margo Roth Spiegelman in Paper Towns, what happens to Gatsby in The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald), what happens to Ludwig in Journey into the Past (Stefan Zweig). We get caught up in ideas of people rather than in people themselves. We should try to realize that every single other person knows him or herself as well and is as focused on his or her life as much as we are on our own. I think that is the message these authors are all trying to get across. It is one, I think, that we will always struggle with, it might even be at the heart of every moral dilemma.
“Don’t judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins”- Sharon Creech, Walk Two Moons
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”- Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
This turned out to be a lot deeper than I anticipated when I sat down to write it this morning, but I hope you enjoyed my slightly philosophical rambling. I’ve been in some very inspiring writing locales in the last few days with many more to explore!