Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Phantom Tollbooth: Your Modern Day Aristotle

Re kindling my love for The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, has not only given me an escape to the real world, but also opened my eyes in a way they weren't when I was originally read to. This book has so many hidden lessons you may not necessarily catch them the first time, but if you look closer you will definitely find them.

Now, the particular part of the story I am going to talk about, is definitely one of my favorite parts of the book. Turn to page 19 of my copy of The Phantom Tollbooth and you will find this excerpt underlined:
"Expectations is the place you must always go to before you get to where you're going. Of course, some people never go beyond expectations, but my job is to hurry them along whether they like it or not."
BAM! Did you catch that? And this is coming from a CHILDREN'S book! I thought this was one of the many important life lessons of the book. And, more importantly, I found this to be very true.

In life, we will set expectations whether they be about ourselves, society, etc. And whether you make them consciously or sub consciously, you still set those expectations. When Norton Juster says some people never go beyond expectations, he really means just that. People set expectations and they don't search further. They will expect something of someone or something and when they are disappointed, BOOM! That's it. No more. They won't even try to fix whatever went wrong. You have to make it worthwhile. That's one of the keys to life, and you can't do that, unless you try.

I definitely think this is something kids should learn at a young age so they have more time to develop this concept. I have a little sister and I want the best for her in life. I want her to be able to go the extra mile and be able to "go beyond expectations" in the words of Norton Juster. Although she, and most kids her age, will not be able to understand this fully right now, they can understand this to a simpler degree and I think the more educated about life the next generation is, the better. It means the same mistakes won't be made and that hopefully some day, everyone will always "go beyond expectations".

At least, that's what I hope will happen.

No comments:

Post a Comment