Reading isn’t a want but a need.
Reading a good book is like taking a new birth. You may end up with a sense of wisdom so energizing that it may be as if you are born again. Of course, each and every book that one picks up need not give such a ‘kick’, so to say, but many surely do. It is where the magic happens.
Why do the wise men of yore say that one must read? Why is it given so much importance? For instance, when a child is born, a mother is often given well-meaning pearls of advice from other mothers and fathers – “you must teach your child to read, my dear, it will make him intelligent by far,” and so on. Why is it so?
Well, to start with, all the above-said questions seem a little foolish. They seem out of context. This is because the value, the true worth of reading is not hidden from any of us. We all know that reading helps us grow. It helps us broaden our mental horizons like literally, no other activity does. It transforms us leaps and bounds. It not only adds value to the person’s life but provides a purpose to the living. But, this too is something all of us are familiar with.
It is not unknown that your intellectual faculties get enhanced when you read. And read really well. Everyone should aspire not only to read but to read a lot more than everyone else. That’s how we, humans, shift toward the progress.
However, what is the emotion of reading? Truly speaking, this entire experience of going through words and sentences written in a book is something which enlightens our souls. It enriches us beyond doubt. It uplifts us, takes us into another world, another era and on a plane in which we cease to exist in our present avatars. We take on or don the role of another person, rather say, we discover ourselves.
We feel things differently, as if we are another character, in another space, and going through different emotions and events.
Reading gives us a new outlook. It gives us another point of view to ponder. It puts us in a dimension in which we do not exist as our own selves but as someone else. It could be the protagonist of the fiction hardcover we have picked up. Or it could be another person from the book we have chosen. But, certainly, even for a short while at least we are transformed into another being.
We think differently, like the person in the book does. We act as if we are caught up in a time machine of a sort and do things differently for this duration. In short, we get to live another life, for a while at least. We get to come out of our mundane, dry, dreary existence and breathe as another life form. Is the thought of it not exciting by itself? It is, indeed.
In this process, we discover a new facet of ourselves. Or rather, we bring in something new to our character and to our existence. We become mature in our thinking. We learn and begin to feel and act differently and become wiser by far with such a happening. We think independently.
Naval Ravikant, founder of AngelList, says “A contrarian isn’t one who always objects — that’s a conformist of a different sort. A contrarian reasons independently, from the ground up, and resists pressure to conform.”
Reading, thus, helps our persona change from an immature or rather a person incompetent at handling situations into one who can much better take care of his or her responsibilities. It teaches us skills we didn’t have before. It makes us more aware. It helps us become alive on a different scale. It inculcates a sense of imagination. It helps us take flight into another zone and we become more knowledgeable, more sensible.
And all this just does not happen in terms of the words and sentences we read. This awakening happens in our souls. We get a certain new ethos of living. This is why reading is addictive. This is why people want to read. Not just to enhance their know-how on the A, B, C of the world today. But to have this new light comes into their lives and times which will really heal them of what they were into what they can be.
We can be different and by this I mean we can become better than what we were. We just did not know how else to become better. But by reading, we have this new exposure to another person who lives his or her life differently and gives us an insight into it – thereby giving us the light to live a life in a manner which will better us – be it emotionally, or physically, or even spiritually. It leaves us with an idea of connecting dots.
Reading, by itself, is an activity which is like being in connect with someone else. It opens up the floodgates of a person’s life in a way that he or she could very well get a sense of nirvana to do something in a manner in which it helps him come out of a period of grief, even. It will teach you the nuances, the craft, of doing something which will help ease your sorrow. It may even create a little world by itself which may not be real, but which you can try to emulate or duplicate in your actual life just to jump-start it in another mode.
Reading is an emotional exercise if you hit upon the right kind of book. It may even bring to you how well your present life is. If you read about the miseries of some others, this ‘shine’ will dawn on you about how lucky you have singularly been. Is this not a feeling which fills you with abundant joy? That you are among the fortunate few. That you are blessed to have what you have.
It brings us to a point where we strive to uncover the purpose of our existence.
Without having a purpose, we’re just another animals. Oh, I love animals, but humans are blessed with brain so are animals but what makes us different from them is we can make use of our brains.
Look at the day cycle of a dog, he eats, we feed, he sleeps, we see, he wakes up, we love, he eats, we again feed…and all the emotions can be observed through his eyes, that’s all. We sense those emotions, that’s why we are humans, and he senses it too, but still, he is an animal. Whatever a dog does we do too, but we do a lot more than that. And no human would like to compare their day cycle with a dog’s day-cycle. I won’t. I ask why? You have the answers.
Whatever you draw from a read, you gain an experience that stays with you for long. For a longer time that you thrive on it. You come out with a new statement about something or the other. This feeling makes you wish to share this newly found energy reserve within you. It makes you bond with others better since you now have something you can give, you can share.
All of us have read the usual messages on how you will become more learned if you read. We will know more, of course. But, inside of you, reading truly revs up your life on another level.
It gives you that inner sense of energy which revitalizes your soul curry. It helps you chug along or rather cruise along to the next station of your life with a higher degree of cheer. With something having ignited within you which charges your batteries up. This is what reading actually does. It gives you the food to grow into a human being with more potential for understanding others and yourself with more wisdom.
(With inputs from Ayush Garg).
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