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Lessons from American Literature

2009-12-11

Category: philosophies

In the big scheme of things, American literature hasn't been around too long. This comes mostly from the fact that the United States hasn't been around very long either. That doesn't mean there isn't anything you can learn from it. There are two lessons in particular.

The first lesson is easy and many in the U.S. have been exposed to it. That lesson is that whitewashing fences is fun. I mean wow; there is nothing I enjoy more than whitewashing a fence. There's the repetitive motion, the fresh air, and, because it is a fence, you can be a bit sloppy and playful. Of course, that doesn't mean I'm not a nice guy. If you really want to participate in the fun, and you ask nicely, you can probably bribe me enough to let you have the fun instead.

The second lesson is a little more obscure these days. From this lesson, I learned that you sure could do anything you want to do to me as long as you don't throw me into the briar patch. I mean, I know you don't like me and you really want to cause me harm; that part I understand. All I'm asking is that when you do get around to hurting me you do anything at all except throw me into the briar patch.

These may seem like strange life lessons to get from literature, but they really do pay off. Sure, we don't have anyone whitewashing fences these days, but people will spend their hard-earned money to poison themselves. That seems kind of important. I'm sure if you put your mind to it, you can find your own literary lessons.

If you get the chance, take some time to enjoy a good book. Visit your favorite characters and see what wisdom they may impart. To be neighborly, you can mention your literary lessons in the comments for others to read. After all, all this content generating sure is mighty fun and it would be downright mean of me not to let you help.


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