Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Happy 83d Birthday to Robert M. Pirsig!

Image credit: David Levine


"The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there."  --Robert M. Pirsig, b. Sept 6, 1928

I truly grok that quote. I like the idea that improving the world begins with self-improvement. This is similar to Ghandi's "be the change you seek" idea. I especially the sequence of Heart, Head, and Hands. The values come first, then plans, and then finally, action. There is much wisdom in that. Ready, Aim, Fire. No other sequence makes sense.

To Mr. Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and father of the Metaphysics of Quality:

Many blessings on this anniversary of your birth. Thank you for writing about the struggles which shaped you. You were almost 40 when you set out on that 17-day rolling Chautauqua. It took you four years to write your first book about that journey and two more years to get that work published. Your persistence was rewarded and now 5 million readers have followed your path from Minneapolis to San Francisco, at least once, in our dog-eared and annotated copies of ZAMM. You have inspired many adventurous seekers to ride their motorcycles over the same route you described to possibly gain for themselves the insights you described. I am grateful for the many amazing gifts you have given the world though your written words.

I wish you the inner prosperity of health, peace, and joy now and always.

Sincerely,

An admirer