One of CVH’s facebook friends posts a question on a regular basis. This week’s question was “What book has changed your life?”
I will set aside the metaphysical question of if one can change their life (for after all, you only get one).
Recently a dear old friend gave me a copy of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Flight to Arras, an autobiographical account of his time as a reconnaissance pilot in WW II. At one point, he muses on the issue of what makes us who we are:
No single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born. It would be a bit too easy if we could go about borrowing ready-made souls.
It is true that a sudden illumination may now and then light up a destiny and impel a man in a new direction. But illumination is vision, suddenly granted the spirit, at the end of a long and gradual preparation. Bit by bit I learnt my grammar. I was taught my syntax. My sentiments were awakened. And now suddenly a poem strikes me in the heart.
I told CVH “IBM System/360 Principles of Operation”.