Learning, Not Parroting

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This is why I look on people like this as a spiritless lot — the people who are forever acting as interpreters and never as creators, always lurking in someone else’s shadow….It is one thing, however, to remember, another to know. To remember is to safeguard something entrusted to your memory, whereas to know, by contrast, is to actually make each item your own, and not to be dependent on some original and be constantly looking to see what the master said. “Zeno said this, Cleanthes that.” …. Besides, a man who follows someone else not only does not find anything, he is not even looking. “But surely you are going to walk in your predecessors’ footsteps?” Yes indeed, I shall use the old road, but if I find a shorter and easier one I shall open it up. The men who pioneered the old routes are leaders, not our masters.

The Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium of Seneca the Younger, letter XXXIII (33), translation by Robin Campbell

Published by Doug

🎵Toss a coin to your Buddhist-Philhellenic-D&D-playing-Japanese-studying-dad-joke-telling-Trekker, O Valley of Plentyyy!🎵He/him

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