Books are Rad - Episode 5: Robert M. Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values

Human connection is quickly becoming something of a lost art these days, and the irony of it all, is one could argue that we are living in a time where we are more connected than ever before.  In this week’s edition of Books are Rad, I wanted to feature a book I read a number of years ago and recently just picked back up - Robert M. Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values.

Now there are a number of directions I could take this blog today.  This book extremely thought provoking and Pirsig engages with the reader in a way that challenges them to reflect on their own experience as it relates to his story.  From the get go Pirsig openly states that this book is not a novel, and if it were, he would develop the characters more.  In my opinion this book is a conversation about your own personal view on connection. 

I will caution you that in my experience this book it is better digested in small doses.  Taking your time will allow for the message to sink in and help you decide whether or not you relate to what he is saying.  The reason I chose this book is because it has been on my mind recently.  The first time I read it I remember being enamored with Pirsig’s description of classic vs romantic and how he views the motorcycle through those lenses - classic is how the motorcycle works, romantic is how it feels.

This binary description of how one experiences a motorcycle struck a cord with me.  Growing up I spent a lot of time riding motorcycles and I can vividly describe how that feels.  In the same vein, I can walk you through the intricacies of working on a bike and the attention to detail that is needed.

So today I challenge you to take a moment and think about connection.  Think about how you connect with yourself and others.  From a metaphorical standpoint, use connection as your motorcycle.  Are you concerned with how that motorcycle works?  Are you constantly fine tuning it?  Or are you just concerned with how it feels and the experience you want from it?  

I will leave you all with this quote from the book as I think it gives some great insight into what you can expect if you choose to read it, “You look at where you’re going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back at where you’ve been and a pattern seems to emerge.”

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

D