“A person cannot truly improve, if he does not help others to improve.”
I love this guy!!! Sadly, I did not allow myself to be introduced to him until later in life. I was the kind of person that felt reading and studying took up way too much of my “valuable” time. In junior high and high school, heck even my first two attempts at college, I was a terrible student. I tried to live in the present as much as possible. I’m not saying that living in the present is a bad thing, but only living in the present with no direction for the future is destructive.
It took me getting married and having 3 kids with one on the way to get my direction. I guess I was forced…by choice. <—Yep, that’s possible. I chose the family life with all its responsibilities, thus forcing myself to find a direction.
Sorry. I didn’t mean for this to be about my past. However, it does connect…listen, or watch, wait…just read on.
I believe that raising and helping my children grow their talents allowed me to improve as a student. A student in school, a student in parenting, a student in
husbandry—Didn’t realize that was an actual term, but not the one I needed—being a husband(best I could come up with), and a student in Life. There, connected!!
This brings me to good Ol’ Charlie.
I believe the word “improve” in Dickens’ quote is a combination of two definitions (which I pulled from Dictionary.com). The obvious one: “to make or become better; to make something better in quality or condition, or become better.” This to me is what everyone sees on the surface when reading the quote. And it is what I think the quote truly means.
However, I don’t think that’s where it stops. With all great quotes, there is always something deeper. Though this ain’t much deeper, you do have to ponder a bit. I think the words also mean to “use something well; to make good use of something.”
This interpretation rings way more truer to me than the previous one. The meaining (to me): If I am constantly striving to improve something then I will ultimately see improvements in my improving.
I know, I know. Hang in there. Let me explain.
It’s like reading and writing. The more practice you put into it, the better you become at those skills. Plus, the better your brain becomes at processing those skills more efficiently. The same can be said for “improving.” The more I help to improve my children’s attitudes, talents, grammar, habits, and life, the more I will see improvements in those areas. Plus, the better my improving skills become, thus making me more efficient in helping my children improve. It’s cyclical!!
Dickens was definitely a great student of Life. From what I know of him, his writings, and his life (which is not enough), he was an excellent educationalist. He improved himself by candidly showing others how to improve no matter what their surroundings. Therefore, he continued to get better at improving.
I know. You’re probably thinking that I have way overanalyzed this quote, but through that analysis I have gained so much. I guess you could say I have improved.
Or it could just be the coffee! 😉
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this quote and/or my brief analysis, or any other quote.
Have a great day and may your next cup of coffee (or tea) be eye-opening!