Most don’t read books anymore. They don’t have the time. They don’t have the inclination. I understand.
Public schools taught that learning’s miserable. Most high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives. They don’t want more misery. Then there is television destroying imaginations and natural curiosities. Cell phones do this too. Then there are rent, bills, taxes, chores errands and a thousand other obligations that take the life out of us.
At the end of the day, why encumber yourself with a task that requires concentration and focus? Why invite more pain by reading books? Again, I understand.
I wish I could convince others that reading doesn’t have to be miserable. I wish I could make them see new joys beyond the current state of their imaginations to be discovered in books. I wish I could make them see that understanding cultivated by books is far deeper than that from documentaries, memes, podcasts or articles because books convey far more essential details that build bigger and clearer pictures in the mind.
But they must take leaps of faith. They must first open a book.
Here are three reasons why they should…
One, knowledge is power. Reading’s like working out your mind. Of course you go to the gym to work out your body. You don’t always want to go. But you do because you know the discipline pays off. Your muscles become stronger.
There is no difference between disciplining the body and disciplining the mind. Both pay off. After all, knowledge, like muscle, is power. It is power to see truth and lies. It is power to influence others. It is power to stand your ground on what you KNOW to be right.
Without such power you are more cajoled, manipulated and intimidated. You are more at the mercy of the world. Your life is less under your control. Yes it is. What person doesn’t want increased confidence and power to pursue happiness in their own unique way? All do. But not all discipline themselves for this. Not all read. Most don’t. Why not separate yourself from the pack?
Two, reading can be downright fun. Yes, television can be fun too. Television can make you forget time and place. It’s sights and sounds bedazzle your imagination. Television can be much easier at day’s end. Totally agree.
But, television can’t produce a joy similar to reading. As I explained in another post, television creates the imagery for you. The images fostering emotional reactions can’t compare to the best ones your imagination would foster. I believe this is because your mind is employing more of its faculties for conceiving the imagery created by the words of a book. Those more numerous faculties to conceive are connected to all parts of you that sees, hears, tastes, touches and smells. Thus, the images of your imagination come from all parts of your being. Those images are more real. They are more pleasant.
Perhaps what I’m saying here is questionable. But I don’t think so. Whereas I’ve spent many enjoyable hours watching movies and television – of course I’ll admit this – they don’t compare to those far greater joys of learning something fascinating from books. Books have changed my life. They will continue to change my life. I reject movies or television bring equal joy. They haven’t to me.
Three, it calibrates your mind to be curious of more things, to see more opportunities, and thus invite more joy and advancement. It teaches you to discern more. It teaches you to listen.
I believe people who read books have better attention spans. That’s because reading, like listening, is receptive in nature. Both require focus. Both require internalizing information. The increased capacity to internalize information makes you more capable of being curious.
Where curiosity takes you depends on you. Maybe, temporarily, it will take you to a website or book teaching you something you’ve always wondered about, as opposed to watching another mindless video of someone with a cat face on TikTok. Maybe it will take you down a deep rabbit hole that, in time, will cultivate new hobbies or even passions that have never been a part of your being.
So much of our being that would have developed more fully, and thus command more of our time and energy for deeper fulfillment in life, is killed during childhood by countless hours of television (and government schools, but that is for another post). Those more developed faculties could include drawing, music, painting, sports, etc. They certainly include that which is cultivated by reading books.
What parts of you don’t exist, yet? Seriously, what parts of you would you like to see developed but have not been because you’ve spent so many hours of your life in front of the idiot box? And it is an idiot box! It does make you stupider!
Truly, I believe that long term exposure to television damages the brain, especially nowadays. Movies and shows are so mindless. Then there are the commercials – the worst!
In this 21st century so much television appeals to the basest parts of our selves. They are constantly encouraging us to think like foolish and mindless children controlled by bodily impulses.
I won’t drag this post out. You get my points.