Friday, March 31, 2023

The Sabbatical

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyse a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

Some time in my teens I remembered reading this quote from a Robert Heinlein character, and something about it snapped in place in my head, and to the best of my limited abilities I’ve tried to do a lot of things despite being aware of the obvious tradeoffs involved in being a jack-of-all. Lately, and especially after the pandemic, I had felt that I was falling behind on all the things I wanted to learn and do. That’s the nagging feeling that prompted the sabbatical that I started in April. 

Butchering a hog and dying gallantly are not on the agenda, but I hope to use the next three months to clear my head, work on some precious relationships, and get into the habit of living an examined life. Part of that process also involves writing more often and putting a portion of it in public. The regularity of posts on this blog has dwindled over the years and reading some of my old posts makes me cringe and shudder, but I reckon that is a sign of growth too. Besides, I don’t know any other readers apart from my mom who visit this space. So here I am, putting some more spam into the universe so that I can cringe a few years from now. 


Vani said...

Stumbled on this and love the writing! �� The idea of new learnings and experiences resonated.. Look forward to the read..

Uma Rajanna said...

What a quote!