Thursday, October 18, 2007

Give Me Truth

Before I put Into the Wild down and pass it on to others who need to read this incredible book, I wanted to record some passages that I found rather interesting and fascinating. They're thought-provoking, so I hope to provoke some thought and/or discussion amongst anyone reading.

The following is a passage highlighted in a book found with Chris McCandless's remains. It's a quotation from Henry David Thoreau in Walden:

"Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth. I sat at a table where were rich food and wine in abundance, an obsequious attendance, but sincerity and truth were not; and I went away hungry from the inhospitable board. The hospitality was as cold as the ices."

I would prefer good conversation over food any day. You can smell insincerity as much as you can the aroma of a delicious dinner looming into the dining room. Conversation feeds the soul, especially if it is meaningful, and perhaps a bit deeper than a surface "how was your day?" conversation. Offer more than food to your guests.

"You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living." -(Alex) Chris McCandless

Don't you feel this whenever you truly have a moment in nature? When I feel really connected and centered when I am hiking or somewhere outside, I really get this feeling that happiness and joy really is constructed everywhere. Reading passages like this make me feel less alone, that I'm not the only one who thinks that one can find joy in anything, anywhere.

"For children are innocent and love justice, while most of us are wicked and naturally prefer mercy." -G.K. Chesterton

How true is this quotation after what Alex went through in his death? He did not burn a fire down to draw attention to himself. He died an honorable death, not causing harm or destruction to anyone around us. I don't think I am as noble as that by any means. I think our natural instinct is survival, not necessarily what is always right for everyone and anything involved. This is one reason why I truly respect Alex.

"Happiness is only real when shared." -(Alex) Chris McCandless

Really? Do you agree with the above statement? I am normally in complete agreement with Alex, but I don't really know if I agree with happiness only being real if you share it. Share it with someone else? I think a person can truly feel happiness by oneself. Some forms of happiness can really only be truly understood and felt by the individual. Love, perhaps, is not one of those things. Perhaps happiness and joy for other things, like winning or excelling at something personal, could be experienced by oneself. Why does it have to be shared?

Any comments or questions to add to my further probing?


Darrell said...

Thanks for your blog Jami. I found it when surfing the web for the "Rather... give me truth" quote.... ah, it was Thoreau. I do think that joy can be found all around us but we don't necessarily need other people for it. I think joy is different than happiness in that it has a deeper core and is not upset by circumstance. I think I do agree with the quote "happiness is only real if it's shared"... that doesn't mean I can't be happy by myself but that it only has meaning "is real" when it is shared. What do you think? :) Thanks for the post!

Appu said...

loved what you have written here..
I don't totally believe about "happiness is only real when shared".. but there have been a lot more occasions when i felt the need of sharing happiness to complete it..