Thursday, November 4, 2010

C.S. Lewis said to J.R.R. Tolkien, "Published it."

One of my favorite authors is C.S. Lewis. His full name is Clive Staples Lewis, but when he was four years old, he suddenly announced to his mother, father, and older brother that from day forth he would no longer be known as Clive, but rather as 'Jacksie'. Then from Jacksie to Jacks and then, finally, to Jack. One day, Jack interrupted his father in his study in order to announce,
'I have a prejudice against the French'.
When his father asked him why, he replied,
'If I knew why it would not be a prejudice.'

This is the story as told by Alan Jacobs in his book, The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C.S. Lewis. But what I'm going to share with you all here is not about the topic 'Be proud of your name' or 'no prejudice please', (though I will someday) but just for fun and to tell you about how bold and smart was young Jacksie. Now, if you meet somebody like him in this modern day, how would they react if you comment them about their works? "You stupid!” "How dare you?!"
Well, probably his friend a professor just like Jacksie at Oxford University dare to take the risk to comment on C.S. Lewis's writing. One of his friends was J.R.R. Tolkien telling him that some of his writing is weak and need to be improved. Every Thursday, he and his friends including Tolkien would gather together, have a drink and talk. They would read passages of their yet unpublished works and comment on each other works (fiction-writing).

It was Tolkien who challenged and encouraged Lewis, an avowed atheist, to explore Christianity. It was Lewis who 'barged Tolkien into seeking to have it (his story) published, which eventually he did, in 1938: the story was called The Hobbit.' (As told by Alan Jacobs) It was because of encouragements and support toward one another that make this unknown professor became one of the greatest writers in the history. Lewis wrote 'The Chronicles of Narnia' and many more, meanwhile Tolkien also wrote many more books such as 'The Lord of the Rings'.

Encouragement leads to great things. Encouragement turns lives around. 'Encouragement is oxygen to the soul' said George Matthew Adams. It is the encouragement from her family that makes Datuk Nicole Ann David became The World No.1 Squash player. It is the encouragement from his father that makes Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad loves reading and eventually became Prime Minister. It is the encouragement from his sisters that make my mother the Greatest Mother in the World.

It is the encouragement by his friends that make Allan the best in his work; from mere contractor to successful supervisor in building construction- my friend Allan was a poor man, didn't go to school, only have one pair of shoes for 1 year usage and have a 'piece of property'- old bicycle. His treasure is his friends who never fail to help and encourage him. 'I have another one', he said to me, while pointing his finger up to the Heaven above.

Encouraging others is a noble job. We need to remind ourselves that there is no more noble occupation in the world that to assist another human being, to help someone else succeed.
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