When a great adventure is offered, you don't refuse it.
I've been enjoying the book Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life
by Chris Guillebeau, about the joy that comes in life from quests.
Guillebeau set out to visit every country in the world, and he
accomplished his goal while he was still in his mid-30s. He isn't a
wealthy guy, and the book chronicles nights spent sleeping on airport
floors in third-world countries and the deep anxiety of visiting unsafe
countries where westerners weren't welcome. He also shares other stories
of ordinary people with extraordinary quests.
The quests can often involve travel. My two sisters are on a
quest to bike in each of the 50 states together. Guillebeau writes
movingly of a woman with a terminal cancer diagnosis who set out to view
more species of birds across the world than anyone had ever seen. But a
quest doesn't have to take you far from home -- one of the questers in
Guillebeau's book set out to cook an authentic meal from every cuisine
in the world, all within the confines of her suburban Colorado home.
The book reminded me that kids aren't only natural-born
questioners -- they also love quests. Childhood reading provides a kind
of scaffold for the bigger quests children might face down the road. All
around us there are children who are right now memorizing dozens of
stats for their favorite baseball or hockey team. When I was nine, I
fulfilled my quest of reading a whole wall of children's books about the
presidents at the town library (just because it was there, I guess).
Maybe we shouldn't be too concerned when a child is on a
quest to read every book in a series (even when there are 47 of them),
or a book that is far over their reading level because it is a favorite
of friends. A quest isn't just an item on a bucket list -- it's
something that requires planning, sacrifice, and often a bit of risk.
And aren't those all elements of reading beyond your comfort zone, with
goals or texts that are a little bit daunting?
I am not on a quest at the moment, but I want to find one.
I'm using the questions Guillebeau provides as a starting point for
What excites you?
What bothers you?
If you could do anything at all without regard to time or money, what would it be?
I am taking my time finding a quest -- or maybe I'm letting one find me.
This week we look at goals. Plus more as always -- enjoy!
Founder, Choice Literacy
Free for All
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