Wednesday, May 20, 2009

robert e. carter on self-cultivation

thirty-three years ago i stood and threw beer-bottles at a door. well past what could be called inebriated, i was engaged in something that i look back on with a degree of detachment but which i can recall with considerable clarity.

the person living behind the door opened it. a bearded man with a soft voice spoke to me. he invited me to stop throwing bottles at his door. then he invited me in to drink tea with him and to hear his poetry.

this man it turns out was bob carter, the master of the college in which i was living. i hadn't officially met him until that point. but sitting on his couch, drinking his tea, listening to his poetry, an awakening of sorts took place. i was drawn to see myself for what i had done and then for what i was. that he did this without anger, without malice, but with genuine kindness is a lesson that i apply to my own dealings with students whose learning and being curve has not reached a point of refinement.

here is robert speaking on self-cultivation. the idea that a person can refine their spiritual self through concerted and virtuous work.

1 comment:

Goldenrod said...

How interesting! When you write your autobiography, be sure to include this episode. Talk about life-changing, huh?