David Foster Wallace (whose Infinite Jest was such an intricately crafted book) 2005 Kenyon College graduation address has a permanent residence in a deep corner of my mind. Every couple of years reminding me, "This is water".
Audio links of keynote speech
Wallace starts the story off with two young fish swimming along, when they come across an older fish. The older fish goes, "Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?”
Water, Wallace tells us in simple awareness. Awareness of what is essential and true. In the deep trenches of adulthood, our attention is hijacked by forces all around us. Making us "worship" what they deem is important for us to worship.
The real value of education and understanding to think, is keeping this awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, in daily consciousness.
Of reminding ourselves, This is water