December 7, 2010
What would you like to learn to like?
Trying to understand what had happened, I thought a bit more about this. Until then, I had always, more or less thought about the interestingness of things as relatively stable characteristics of those things. That is apparently false. What had made the book which I had found so boring first interesting for me now? In the meantime I had read and thought a lot on the subject and I had become more knowledgeable. Before, I had done that, the gap between my knowledge and the content of the book was so large that it discouraged me and turned me off. After a few years, the situation had become much different. The book now provided some interesting answers to questions I had formed about the topic.
I noticed how big a difference it was to have to read it while I found it uninteresting and wanting to read the book because I found it interesting. The first experience was demotivating and hard, the latter was motivating and fun. I decided try to utilize this insight. I decided to focus on reading things that really interested me and when something would not interest me I would put it aside and sometimes I would think: "Maybe I am not ready for this; maybe I will appreciated that later, or not." By following this simple rule, reading itself became much more fun. I noticed that I had actually learned myself to like reading more.
Now, if what we find interesting is not fixed and if it is open to development, one might ask: to what extent can we choose what we would learn to like? And how would we make such a choice? One criterion for choosing what we would learn to like is by following people we admire. If someone you admire, an authority person, loves the composer Shostakovitch you may decide to listen to this composer a lot, too, so that you may learn to like him, too. You may, after some time, really start to like the composer. But you may also find that this does not happen. Then, you have choice. Do you declare you don't like the composer or do you more or less fake liking the composer so that you seem a bit similar to your authority person? Or do you think that perhaps you are not ready to understand Shostakovitch and say to yourself that you may appreciate him later (or not).
Anyway, back to my two questions: 1) to what extent can we choose what we would learn to like?, and 2) if we can, how should we choose what to learn to like?
My question to you is: what would you like to learn to like?
Author: Coert Visser