If I ran a school, I'd give the average grade to the ones who gave me all the right answers, for being good parrots. I'd give the top grades to those who made a lot of mistakes and told me about them, and then told me what they learned from them.
You…made…me…faint,” I accused him dizzily. “What am I going to do with you?” he groaned in exasperation. “Yesterday I kiss you, and you attack me! Today you pass out on me!” I laughed weakly, letting his arms support me while my head spun. “So much for being good at everything,” he sighed. “That's the problem.” I was still dizzy. “You're too good. Far, far too good.
And it's just anathema to being a writer. It's not healthy. But in another way, when I'm writing, what it's about for me is being good on the page. None of that noise could change the way I feel about my writing. Which is not always particularly positive.
One of the qualities essential to being good at reading poetry is also one of the qualities essential to being good at life: a capacity for surprise. It’s easy to become so mired in our likes or dislikes that we can no longer recall that person who once responded to poems—and to people—without any preconceived notions of what we wanted them to be.
I really am just trying to tell stories. But stories are often grounded in larger events and themes. They don't have to be - there's a big literature of trailer-park, kitchen-table fiction that's just about goings-on in the lives of ordinary people - but my own tastes run toward stories that in addition to being good stories are set against a backdrop that is interesting to read and learn about.
We should practice by showing one another love and helping one another. It is a mistake to pursue happiness and to seek to the avoid suffering by deceiving and humiliating other people. We must try to achieve happiness and eliminate suffering by being good-hearted and well-behaved.