Books Matter: Kelly Filgo

March is National Reading Month, a whole month designated to encouraging Americans – and by extension Wacoans – to read! The Act Locally Waco blog is beating the drum for National Reading Month by hosting a blog series throughout the month of March, called “Books Matter.” Every day throughout March we will be sharing a post about a Waco resident and a book that matters to him/her.  Thank you to students from the Baylor Department of Journalism, Public Relations and New Media and professor Amber Adamson for help with this fun project.  To read all the blog posts so far, click here

By Haylee Bernard

Kelly Filgo, lead director of specialized projects at the Texas State Technical College, said his favorite book gave him, “words to put on what I already felt, believed.”

Filgo educates students while they train for aviation careers. Filgo’s favorite book is The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distractions by Matthew Crawford. 

Filgo said the book “is a look through the lens of classical philosophy but applied to modern Western culture. About how as a culture, we are not very good at giving sustained attention to what we do and what that means for us.”

The book is about how people do not have the opportunity to give themselves honest self-evaluations, and this prevents people from being resilient and dedicating time and attention to one thing. 

“We lack the constructive criticism. People say it is the youth and their cellphones. However, Crawford dispels that immediately and says that culturally, we reject prior knowledge and challenge things, but what we mistakenly did was equate individuality with self-sufficiency. What we tend to do in that case is create a warped self-image,” Filgo said. 

Filgo said an important lesson in the book is that hobbies lead to good practices, because they provide us with an opportunity to focus on one task and provide us with obvious feedback. Filgo engages in the art of 3D printing as one of his hobbies, because he said it allows him to perfect his craft through learning from his mistakes. 

Filgo said the most valuable takeaway of this book is, “learning how to stay focused long enough to know when you are getting it and to know when you are not and to be honest with yourself enough and say that it was not good enough.”