My parents were in town and like most people who come to my home they were tortured with a mix of home videos and my kids favorite Studio C skits. We watched The Devil's Dilemma and at the end of the skit my Dad said, "That is basically Tomlinson by Rudyard Kipling."
We read it, (after he quoted a bit for us). It is a great poem and a great skit and I highly recommend both. And he was right. I don't know if Studio C got the idea from the poem, but they are the same idea. I have always been amazed by my Father's wealth of literary knowledge. As I thought how amazing it would be to have his database of literary works at my finger tips, I was reminded of one of my favorite parables.
There was a young merchant who came to California to make his wealth panning for gold. He quickly grew frustrated with his lack of success. One day he yelled in frustration, "There is no gold here."
An old prospector who happened to be walking by responded, "There is gold all right." He took up a rock, cracked it in half revealing a few small flecks of gold.
"I am not looking for tiny flecks, I am looking for nuggets like you have in your pack."
The prospector opened his bag to reveal thousands of small flecks of gold. "Son, the patient accumulation of these little flecks has brought me great wealth."
My Father has patiently collected little flecks of knowledge through great literature. And while many like myself jealously look at the accumulation of wealth of knowledge, we all have access to all he as, much more, and much easier today. Yet, many of us, including myself, spend much of our time reading or listening to talking heads pontificate about how our favorite quarterback will perform, or how a political raise that is 8 months away may or may not turn out, or what memes our 'friends' have posted. By so doing we pass up time when we could be gathering flecks of gold, knowledge from studying great works or literature, or reading about the lives of great men and women. And maybe more importantly actually doing something to become great men and women, just ask Tomlinson.