Reply Letter - II - 367

"Education is from Womb to Tomb!"
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Reply Letter - II

No. 9 Tisbambe Road,
September 18th, 1999.

My dear Herath,

    It was very nice to have your letter. I am glad that you are going to be a collector. It is a very good thing to have a hobby of that kind. You will find that you will learn many things that will astonish you. And whatever you collect, it will give you something to think about, and will take your thoughts from unpleasant matters. You will not have any dull or lonely hours, if you really study something earnestly.

    You ask me to advise you. Well, you know there are many things you can collect which cost nothing at all. Books and coins can be very expensive. But stones, and leaves or seeds, cost nothing, and yet they can give you knowledge that may bring you fame. Many of our greatest naturalists, such as Sir Jagadis Bose, have become what they were by studying simple things. Ordinary things of which we take little notice arc so full of wonder.

    Then there are many things in books which are worth collecting. Why should we leave beautiful things locked up in books? One of my teachers has a number of notebooks into which he has copied out passages of prose and poetry. They are mostly short pieces, and there are many thousands of them. You may think that a .very large .number. But he has made a habit of copying things that give him pleasure,, and has been doing it for over .twenty years. Now 20 years of 365 days make 7,300 days. Three passages a day would make 21,900 passages. And it does not lake long to copy three short passages. But it does take time to find them. It means that you have to be a lover of reading. And if you read much in good books you lift yourself into a higher world, and become a fit companion of great men. One day if you come here, I will ask my teacher to show you his notebooks, and his index to all the good things he has collected.

Your friend,
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