Sage advice from Friar Laurence

“Be patient, for the world is broad and wide.”
–William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act Three, Scene Three

Note: Back in the mid-nineties, I resolved to read one Shakespeare play per year until I’d read them all. I’ll admit I haven’t been too good at holding true to this resolution over the years, but I did manage to read Romeo and Juliet this summer. I was struck as always by Shakespeare’s language, but also by his characters. Granted, as D.H. Lawrence once wrote, “When I read Shakespeare I am struck with wonder / that such trivial people should muse and thunder / in such lovely language” — but there always seems to be at least one character in each play with a good head on his shoulders. In the case of Romeo and Juliet, it is Friar Laurence, who gives the above advice.

Of course, Romeo doesn’t take the advice and the play plunges into tragedy — but my point here is that this can be good travel advice, especially for young people. “Be patient, for the world is broad and wide.” Indeed, it may seem like you need to assemble a life — job, home, serious boyfriend/girlfriend — straight out of high school or college, but the fact is that there is plenty of time to settle yourself into normal life (or, if you choose, to avoid a normal life altogether).

“Be patient, for the world is broad and wide” — so why not set your serious plans aside and wander while the wandering’s good? You’ll learn a lot in the process, and come back better equipped for your “normal” life at home. (And — trust me on this one — you’ll have a lot of fun in the process.)

Posted by | Comments Off on Sage advice from Friar Laurence  | December 19, 2003
Category: Travel Quote of the Day, Vagabonding Advice

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