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Why reading is a must in your life-Part 2

Many of us are desirous of knowledge and usually demonstrate great admiration and acclaim for those who may have distinguished themselves in academic excellence. Sadly, most of us are too too lazy to read. Many are so much in a hurry and avoid reading what they would call a long piece because according to them they have no time. What is lost on them is that some of the solutions they may be looking for may be buried in the material they have considered too long to peruse. Low quest for knowledge arising from low desire to read stagnates development.

It is dangerous to go stale. It is said by experts that any day you stop reading you become stale for two weeks. We have also heard that readers are leaders but that does not hold true among our present crop of leaders. With the exception of a few, majority of our leaders are stark illiterates (no apologies) and even those who may have acquired a degree in their various callings can hardly pass for educated people because they lack appetite to read. The quality of their leadership is a reflection of their knowledge distilled from reading.   

When we get reading, education and enlightenment takes over and the mind is more illumined. At this point governance of men becomes easier because issues and discourses will be taken from a higher perspective outside the horizon of ignorance. This is the reason Lord Brougham wrote: ” education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive, easy to govern but impossible to enslave.” Another writer stated that: ”the illiterate of the future are not those who can’t read and write but those who can’t learn unlearn and relearn.”

It does not matter whatever may be our calling there is no limit to what we can read. Even as a professor who may think he has seen it all there are still fresh grounds to break. You may choose to venture outside your comfort zone and explore new areas. Through readings people are up skilling themselves in diverse ways. Mrs Oby Ezekwesili, ‘Madam Due Process’, for example, carved a niche for herself in at least four distinct areas of interest. People are criss-crossing boundaries to other professions and discovering other potentials as a result. If you think you are not best suited in what you are doing presently begin to explore the world by reading. Yours sincerely trained as a banker but finds great delight and pleasure in reading and writing.   

Those in the journalism and legal profession in order to serve their clients well have regular contact with literature and this perhaps explains why they describe themselves more learned than others. Reading is for everybody and available for all. There is so much and easy access to what to read. Technology has made reading materials easily available. Today you can know all that you want to know. It is a common saying today that ”you can Google it if you can’t ask God”. There is so much education I have soaked in today which is value adding to my life by simply belonging to exploring the social media. Reading widens your knowledge base and improves your language power. It updates you. Imagine so many opportunities people have lost because of lack of information.

What is lacking is our willingness and interest. There is no constraint to reading except the ones we have created. Even in the scriptures Paul writing in his first and second letters to Timothy also recognized the importance of reading. In 1 Tim 4:13, Paul wrote to say: ”Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” Continuing in 2 Tim 2:15, he went on: ”study to show thyself approved unto God, a work man that needed not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

The importance of reading cannot be over stressed. It also provides an escape valve for those emotionally laden.” When I am attacked by gloomy thoughts nothing helps me so much as running to my books. They quickly absorb me and banish the clouds from my mind”, so declared, Michael de Montaigne. Can we therefore resolve now to read, read and read because its benefits are immeasurable?

According to Brian Tracy, a prominent motivational speaker and author, ”Knowledge and information in your field are doubling every two or three years. Whatever information base you have is rapidly becoming obsolete. You must be in the process of continually taking in new information and ideas just to stay even”. He went further to emphasize that in this age of information, if one is not reading constantly he risks the danger of becoming obsolete with the passage of time. One needs to upgrade by updating himself with facts regularly.   

The reason children are not doing well in their qualifying exams is because they have shunned reading. They are more distracted by music, football, video watching, and other irrelevances. You will be amazed at the mastery of the lyrics of some artists by school kids who cannot recite any formula or quote any passage in their literature.

In my own thinking we need to retrace our steps and embrace reading again because that is where life is. The more we read, the more we learn and the more we live. Each time we learn a new thing it excites us and makes us feel good. If we keep it continually coming in no time we become transformed and better equipped to function well in life. If you are not reading you may lack the fitness to fit in properly among your peers and friends because you will draw blank or expose your ignorance in group discussions. You can give reading a trial and you will be glad you did.

End.

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