defining moments

I’m a huge fan of reading.  Huge fan.  I love books and I always have.  I am constantly trying to get the people around me to read books that I particularly enjoyed (just ask anyone who has lived with me).  I have, however, discovered one minor side effect of reading a lot, especially as a kid/teenager.

If a book is any good, it has a plot.  If a plot is any good, it has characters and conflict.  If the characters are any good, the conflict will lead to changes in at least one of them (a story with completely static characters would be horrendous!).  Because of this, most books contain a defining moment, something that happens in the course of day-to-day life that changes the trajectory of a character’s life/personality/point of view.  These defining moments frequently appear to be ordinary at first, and only gain importance in hindsight.

It is my hypothesis that if you spend a large portion of your free time reading stories, you begin to look for defining moments in your own life.  You begin to approach each day wondering if this will be the day that changes your entire life.  Every time you meet someone new, you wonder if this is the person that will set you on a completely different path, whether it be good or bad. 

The problem with this is that when you look for defining moments, they lose their power.  A moment, a person, an event cannot change your life if you’re spending your time and energy figuring out how it is going to change your life.  Defining moments in books always come unexpectedly; they take the character by surprise.  If you are looking for them, chances are you will not be changed by them. 

So beware.  Don’t spend so much time thinking about your life that you stop living it.  Your life is a very long book and the best defining moments are the unexpected ones.

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1 Comment

  1. Dad

     /  March 25, 2009

    Es muy verdad!


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  • A collection of ramblings and musings on Jesus, life, education, family, and anything else that pops into my head.

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