To fight distraction is to defend something that matters, something that requires devotion of the mind. This is part of the meaning of study: to honor things through thought and longing. Many dismiss such yearning as impractical; we have enough on our hands, they say, with the daily scramble and the demands of the age. But yearning can pull us out of the scramble; it can calm the scramble itself. The teacher who longs to read about Chinese history will set aside time for it in the evenings. The boy who longs to see a falling star will stay up late, looking up at the sky for hours. in Moby-Dick, it is the Rachel, returning from a vain search for the captain’s lost sons, that ultimately rescues Ishmael from the water near the sunken Pequod and makes the story possible. If we abandon such yearning and seeking, if we defer to the petty demon of “getting it now,” then nothing will be left but our vicissitudes, and we will have no will or thought but to follow them.Also from Republic of Noise
Republic of Noise: The Loss of Solitude in Schools and Culture (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2012).
“A little out of date”