Mr. Michener’s Essay

A friend of mine on Twitter alerted me to this marvellous essay by James A. Michener, American author, entitled ‘When Does Education Stop?’ and first published in the Reader’s Digest in 1962. In it Michener talks about lifelong dedication to education and self-improvement and the benefits of this approach to life. Michener’s essay is full of inspiring ideas and I particularly took heart from his experience with writing:

‘When I was finally ready to write,’ I replied under questioning, ‘I holed up in a bare-wall, no-telephone Waikiki room and stuck at my typewriter every morning for eighteen months. Seven days a week I wrestled with the words that would not come, with ideas that refused to jell. When I broke a tooth, I told the dentist I’d have to see him at night. When DeWitt Wallace, the editor of the Reader’s Digest and a man to whom I am much indebted, came to Hawaii on vacation, I wanted to hike with him but had to say, “In the late afternoon. In the morning I work.”‘

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2 thoughts on “Mr. Michener’s Essay

  1. David O Cinneide

    what an inspiring and timely essay!! i read a book of his when i was younger… the fires of spring, i believe it was called.. brilliant stuff!

    1. Amazingly inspiring and I think a universal lesson to be learned. Formal education and informal personal development are to be continued all our lives. I never understand people who think they’ve stuck at a particular age in their head, e.g. “I’m still 21 inside!”. I’m a different person to who I was at 16, 21, 25, last year, etc., and I believe that’s a good thing!

      Must read more of Mitchener – The Fires of Spring may be a good place to start.

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