I know that e-books are the current place to be but I’ll openly admit that when it comes to reading I sway to the good, old-fashioned, pieces of paper in one hand, pencil sharpened and ready to note in the other.
I started off by downloading Paul Gilbert’s new offering ‘The Tale of the Old Badger, the Young Fox and the Wise Owl’ with the intention of reading it from screen but, introduction finished, I’d printed it off fingers already twitching to underline and add notes in the margin. My ecological defence (if there is such a thing) is that I printed off double-sided on recycled paper, print setting low resolution.
It’s a gentle tale of old versus new, young versus old, the cycle of change and the work/life balance that so many of us strive to achieve. The wise old owl talks through his approach by reference to sticks and stones but not the kind that will break bones. Instead they are the metaphors for time and personal values.
In his introduction Paul places himself in the ‘Old Badger’ camp. I wanted to object but given that he is one of the most insightful people I have the pleasure of knowing and probably has sought counsel from loved ones and colleagues, who am I to dispute this?
As I was reading I desperately wanted to throw myself into the ‘Young Fox’ camp as I too “…want to be able to chase my tail for fun, to play with my friends and to see my cubs. I want to do a good day’s work for sure, but not to the exclusion of everything else.” But, I also recognise in myself streaks of Old Badger and I don’t think that the characteristics found within either are mutually exclusive.
If you’re feeling that your contribution and commitment are undervalued then have a read. If you’ve had cause to stop recently and ask yourself “why do I bother?” or silently prayed for more than 24 hours in a day to achieve what’s on your plate then have a read. If you’re lucky enough not to have experienced these emotions then still read it; it might make you stop and think about something new or remind you of what you already know.