On Monday, Robert M. Pirsig, author of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" (ZAMM), passed away at his home in Maine at the age of 88. Although the author wrote just two works, ZAMM and "Lila: an Inquiry into Morals," Pirsig's philosophical outlook on life has still managed to help multiple generations make sense of life's journey.
About two years ago, I found a copy of ZAMM abandoned in the bushes outside my neighborhood laundromat. Not one to pass up a free book, I picked it up and got to reading it. The novelistic autobiography, as ZAMM came to be called, tells the story of Pirsig's motorcycle journey across the country with his son, but it is so much more than just an adventure tale. Through his journey, Pirsig manages to explain his entire philosophy on life, creating a manifesto through motorcycle maintenance. As cliché as it sounds, finding that book changed my entire outlook on life and still has a profound effect on me.
There are about as many lessons to be learned in ZAMM as there are roads to travel in the U.S., but a handful of morals persist throughout the story. These are what stick with you long after you put the book down and help reshape your perspective. In honor of Pirsig and everything he has taught readers, here are seven prevailing life lessons learned in ZAMM.