advice from merlin to the young king arthur

Ann Curry tweeted this quote the other day and I was really taken by it. It’s wisdom imparted from Merlin to a young Arthur in T.H. White’s The Once and Future King. My undergrad advisor recommended the book to me awhile back and I think this just bumped it to the top of my summer reading list.

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake in the middle of the night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world around you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.”