In an attempt to gather what wisdom he could to guide his son into adulthood, Kent Nerburn published a powerful collection of essays that touched the hearts of parents and children everywhere. In this beautiful revised edition, Nerburn refines his advice and expands his thoughts.
I think all these quotes are from this book? I just found them unlabeled in a computer file...
"That is why we need travel. If we don't offer ourselves to the unknown, our senses dull. Our world becomes small and we lose our sense of wonder. Our eyes don't lift to the horizon; our ears don't hear the sounds around us. The edge is off our experience, and we pass our days in a routine that is both comfortable and limiting. We wake up one day and find that we have lost our dreams in order to protect our days. "- KN
"But travel is not as romantic and exotic as it sounds. The familiar will always call, and your sense of rootlessness will not give you rest. Your emotions will fly crazily in all directions until sometimes you will feel that you have lost your moorings. If you travel alone, the warmth of families and couples will break your heart, and your loneliness will plunge you to depths you did not think possible.
And then, there are greater dangers. You may wake up and discover that you have become a runner who uses travel as an escape from the problems and complications of trying to build something with your life. You may find that you were gone one hour or one day or one month too long, and that you no longer belong anywhere or to anyone. You may find that you have been caught by the lure of the road and that you are a slave to dissatisfaction with any life that forces you to stay in one place.
There things happen. But how much worse is it to be someone whose dreams have been buried beneath the routines of life and who no longer has an interest in looking beyond the horizon?
I believe it is worth taking the risk. How else will you know the feeling of standing on something ancient, or hearing the silent roar of empty spaces? How else will you be able to look into the eyes of a man who has no education, never left his village, and does not speak your language, and know that the two of you have something in common? How else will you know, in your heart, that the whole world is precious and that every person and place has something unique to offer?
And when you have tragedies or great changes in your life, how else will you truly understand that there are a thousand, a million ways to live, and that your life will go on to something new and different and every bit as worthy as the life you are leaving behind?"-KN
A lovely little book full of essays written as father /son advice. I enjoyed each and every one, and took some time to digest particularly deep ones. The ones that resonated most deeply( I believe because of my age) were those on loving and living with elders and on death and dying. As the daughter of ninety-something parents and mother of thirty-something sons, I found valuable advice for myself as well. I recommend this book most highly and will be passing it along .
I am neither a father nor a son, however; I choose it to read. I am a mother having two sons, and they have father, nevertheless, I choose it to read. I don’t ask myself the reason to read it, for I think I just have to. After reading the book, I find myself become a happier person. The big result is I come to know the problems I have with my elder son, and what makes me the happiest is I seem knowing how to face the problems. I don’t know why the book will enlighten me so much when none of the thirty four chapters has exactly told me what I have gone wrong. It is amazing. Slowly, I come to realize that my heart is opened and mainly I become peaceful with the wisdom the book has given me and I have come to find that the wisdom is to tell me I should be peaceful. Yeah, only when we are in a state of peacefulness can everything comes to us in the same way.
In the book, I am much impressed finding Kent has several times cited Chinese phrases or stories when he utters an advice or wisdom to us. To me, such a familiarity has made me feel warm and sweet and I think I have to especially say thanks to him.
Whether you are a father, a son, a mother or a daughter, I would like to recommend you all to have this book a read for it will not only give you advice or wisdom about life but it will, out of expectation, amazingly turn you into a happier person.
At last, I have to say to Kent that with reading the book, I have learned a lot about men when before I cannot know so much, hahahaa! It is absolutely a book women have to read.
I went into SAVE Thrift store to pass some time before catching the bus home and I walked back to the book shelf just to look around. My eyes immediately fell on this book and for some reason, even though it is a book written by a man and aimed at boys/men I wanted to read it.
So I bought it and started reading it on the bus. Despite the fact that this is a book about the philosophies of becoming a man, about what dilemmas a man faces and what he can take from life, it touches the heart and reaches out to everybody.
This book is worthwhile to read no matter who you are. It brings forth certain points, or truths maybe, that you recognize, and even if you don't agree with what he believes, you understand where he is coming from and respect his experiences and outlook on life.
I would definately read this again, and it's going onto my permanent bookshelf.
O ovoj knjizi ne bih puno dužio. Iz naslova se vidi šta je ona i u tom smislu je divna. Možda sam očekivao malo više. Na momente deluje suvoparna i deluje kao da je autor proživeo tri života spominjući sva svoja iskustva, ali možda je u tome i draž. On je pristao na takav način života da je dosta proputovao i dosta toga spoznao i otkrio. ✉️ Iako je ova knjiga posvećena sinovima, podjednako neka poglavlja mogu čitati i ćerke. Ima tu i pisama o snazi, o ljubavi, o braku, o umetnosti, o gotovo svakoj grani života. U tome je i lepota ove knjige. Spominje se i religija, i seks, i vođenje ljubavi, spominje se i odnos prema starijima, kao i viđenje starih ljudi. Ova knjiga vas možda neće ničemu novom naučiti, ali će vam proširiti vidike, sigurno. ✉️ Kao što sam rekao, na momente mi je delovala suvoparno i zbog toga neću dati najveću ocenu, ali da je knjiga vredna, jeste. I sigurno ću bar neka od pisama ponovo pročitati.
Reading the "letter" on sex (Chapter 25) was like reading about the birds and the bees from your dad.
No, your grandpa.
No, your friend's grandpa.
Who writes for Encyclopedia Britannica.
In the 1950s.
In fact, despite the rare keen observation, most of Nerburn's essays come off as pretentious and banal: not a great combination when trying to impart wisdom and inspire learning.
At least his letters/chapters are mostly brief if not unhelpful. Still, if Nerburn were my father, I would have just told him to text me a dad joke ("Dad, I'm hungry." "Hi, Hungry, I'm Dad.") or an email with a link to a wikihow page on how a fucking mortgage works.
I really enjoyed how poetic and insightful this book was. My favorite chapter was on "Travel" ...“That is why we need to travel. If we don’t offer ourself to the unknown, our senses dull. Our world becomes small and we lose our sense of wonder. Our eyes don’t lift to the horizon; our ears don’t hear the sounds around us. The edge is off our experience, and we pass our days in a routine that is both comfortable and limiting. We wake up one day and find that we have lost our dreams in order to protect our days.” This quote sticks with me almost as a mantra, especially the last line.
I really enjoyed this book. The author is down to earth and keeps things concise and clear. The topics he picked to write about were all relevant ones which I find myself thinking about often. Sometimes it is just nice to hear another man's take on things such as spirituality, drugs, family/fatherhood, death, love, giving, etc. I like his references to Zen. I took a lot away from this book.
My Dad bought me this book back in 1992 when I was a sophomore in high school. I read it then and decided to re-read as I now have two sons. This book is quite different reading it again 27 years later in mid-life vs teenage years. It presents a good perspective on many life lessons and may help start some of those tough discussions between fathers and their children; but good parenting still requires daily guidance and love.
Thank you Dad for the book and more importantly all the life lessons you give me everyday which are much greater than simply presented in this book. Love ya, JR.
I really liked this book of short essays that the author uses to tell his son about a variety of experiences he will probably encounter in life. I liked his positive views on what it means to be a man and how he works at helping his son understand the role of emotions in life. A very good and thoughtful book.
All good advice but very basic and the stories aren't to interesting either. This is a great book for a high school kid to read but as a 34 year old I've already heard a lot of this advice and live by it. This book is an easy and quick read but will not blow your socks off. I recommend reading Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules For Life instead. Now that is an interesting and gripping book about living a good life.
I liked this book a lot. So much wisdom distilled in one little book. Though it's addressed to his son, obviously a male, most of the ideas are actually quite universal, timeless, and gender-independent. I listened to the audiobook version, and even at x1.75 speed which did not feel too fast. It was only after I had finished it that I noticed that the reader was actually Mr. Nerbern's son, the one to whom the book was written for! That made it all the more meaningful.
It wasn’t all that I expected. I guess too short and filled with good sayings. Good personal stories to support his thoughts. I don’t know if there is anything he said that I could share with my son that I wasn’t already going to. As a single mom, this wasn’t useful to me. But I had to listen to the entire book to be able to figure that out.
I received the "Partners and Marriage" chapter embedded in made up story about a student getting an A+ grade from a very exigent college professor. The book is a wonderful meditation on the things that really matter, on hard earned wisdom and on what it means to be a father.
I got this book for my son as it's a summer reading for his senior year in an all male school. After reading the book, he came to me with a astonished look on his face. He said that the book supplies young males with an incredible insight on life. He said that it is one of the best books that he has ever read. It supplies young men with a lot of factual information on various different topics from love to lovemaking to fatherhood to respecting elders to death and to overall reflection of a father. Overall he gives the book a 5 star and he does not regret his time. It took him about 5 hours to finish this book. It peeked his interest and he read the book, in its entirety, in one afternoon. Overall great book!!!