Good Morning Examiner,
Today we shall examine the work of one of the world’s favourite playwrights:
Chekov was born in 1860, and died in 1904.
He is considered to be among the greatest writers of short fiction in history. This remarkable achievement is made even more remarkable by the fact that he practiced as a doctor almost the entire time he was a playwright. He is quoted to have said, “Medicine is my lawful wife and literature is my mistress.”
Due to his family’s financial troubles while he was growing up, Chekov was left alone, at the age of 16, to finish his education while his family moved to Moscow.
During the time that he was alone, he wrote his first short story, made money by catching and selling goldfinches, and had an incredible amount of love affairs; he even had one with the wife of his high school teacher!
Chekov devoured philosophy, literature and poetry (just like us!). He read it constantly and voraciously.
Chekov was a master of the serious and unserious, of severity and levity… of philosophy and youthful escapades of love and knavishness.
So, as we read advice that Chekov wrote for the world, keep in mind how the man lived his life…
“Do silly things. Foolishness is a great deal more vital and healthy than our straining and striving after a meaningful life.”
This quote always resonates with me. The man who dedicated his life to medicine and art–both widely considered to be very serious things– praises silliness more than sternness as the key to a healthy life. Why could this be? And in what ways could we ourselves strive to bring more foolishness into our lives? As most of you reading this have invested with Alta West, you understand the necessity of seriousness; that’s how you have made your money: through masterful attention to the industry in which you work and through an intrepid work ethic.
But, in spite of all this, Chekov tells us to be silly! To take the time to just play. To relax and act childishly! How bizarre!
So, ask yourself this, Dear examiner: how can you be less serious and more foolish today?
By playing with your children, by endearingly teasing your loved ones, by listening to music, by watching an old movie that you love?
Whatever the case may be, ensure that you are able to instil a dose of foolery into your life, as well as seriousness.
The Golden Scribe