the quick vs. the dead

the quick vs. the dead
Photo by Chase Clark / Unsplash
"The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper." - W.B. Yeats

The great naturalist John Burroughs believed that there are two types of people in the world. He didn't mean differences like men and women, young and old, or rich and poor. Rather, he divided people into what he called 'the quick' and 'the dead.'

By 'the quick,' Burroughs meant those who observe the world and truly see it. Those who listen to the world and truly hear it. Those who are attuned to their surroundings and understand the messages it conveys. The quick are sensitive individuals who have a keen perception of the world. They are alive, alert, and full of energy. In other words, they are vibrant and responsive.

On the other hand, 'the dead' people, although physically alive, lack sensitivity. They don't engage with new ideas or explore different approaches to things. They merely live on the surface, not delving deeper into understanding or experiencing the world.

While this categorization might seem oversimplified, it serves as a reminder to examine our own level of sensitivity and engagement with the world. It prompts us to reflect on whether we are actively living and experiencing life or merely going through the motions.

Instead of simply existing on the surface, we should strive to be alert, active, and open to new ideas and ways of doing things. True vitality comes from grappling with ideas and embracing new perspectives. By challenging ourselves and seeking out novel experiences, we equip ourselves to expand our understanding and continually grow as individuals.

So, I encourage you to cultivate a deep sense of awareness, curiosity, and vitality in your everyday life. The more you actively engage with the world around you, the richer and more meaningful existence you’ll lead.