Inward Focus Needed for True Education

Letters for the Editors

To the editors:

I agree agressively with Catherine L. Tung’s Dec. 8 column, “The Trouble of Self Study.” Before one can be educated, or led out of oneself, one must first focus inwardly; in the words of Funakoshi: “First of all, know yourself, then know others.” With history’s greatest, ranging from Shakespeare to the Buddha, from Socrates to Gandhi, imploring us to yield to the age-old Delphic command, “know thyself,” the time is ripe for students to cease rattling off the negatives of a creative writing concentration’s “navel-gazing” and recognize the veritas it offers.

Thomas E. Gaffney

Dec. 10, 2003

The writer is an applicant to Harvard College.