In high school, my English teacher recommended that I read a certain translation of the New Testament. For a moment, as a Jew, I’ll admit I was confused. What did it matter, I thought? This was before I realized what went into a translation of a book, including the Bible. I didn’t know how many choices were made by the translator, how many options each sentence could present them with. I didn’t realize it was its own craft.
I appreciated her tip, even as she gave it to me, but it would be some years before I realized the importance this had to anything else I was interested in. She was recommending me the translation I was most likely to come across in other writing, in literature. She was preparing me for something I had not yet been especially dedicated to.
Sometimes you won’t realize right away why something is a good idea. It’s great to know, but there’s so many things to do and know all the time. Advice can occasionally be vague, seem confusing, or even appear completely unrelated. But, like I said about trust, if the advice comes from a place that you’ve decided to believe in, go for it. You’ll figure it out later.
Life has a way of coming full circle. Things that you once put aside will spring back up. Ideas you once had will come back, more fully formed. Your ambitions will refocus, and you’ll decide what’s important in ways that bring up old knowledge, old experiences, like a tattered resource book you found behind a shelf. So when a friend or mentor tells you, read this book you thought you’d hate, try to give them the benefit of the doubt.