Viewing this wonderful lecture on the importance of a classical education made me wonder if I had, or did not have, a classical education. I read a lot of great works, struggled a lot with deep reading, philosophy, and trying to understand the human condition, but I have many, many gaps in my reading and education, too. Reading Ulysses for the first time lately has truly impressed these shortcomings on me. I miss many allusions to classic and Christian thought, not to mention Irish history and geography.

For much of my life, my cynical mind has been more interested in the lies that make the world than in the truths that make the world. I am trying to reverse that balance now. Earlier this year, I made a decision to return to reading classic literature almost exclusively—even at a snail’s pace, and even if I struggle to understand it—to improve both my education and my outlook on life. I think it has been a worthwhile journey thus far, but I have far, far to go. It is a journey that ends only when I do.