“Read. Learn. Become.”
“PERSPECTIVES” are excerpts from my forthcoming book of the same name, available from Partridge Publications early 2015
UNESCO estimates that the global rate of adult literacy is in excess of 84% – blessed with the privilege to read and avail themselves of the opportunity to inform, grow and be inspired.
However, the world is in many ways an unfriendly and unwelcome place for the remaining adults and their children who cannot read, many of whom yearn – nay, pray – to have a chance to join the ranks of the literate, not to mention those who suffer impairments such as dyslexia which often lead to terrible humiliation throughout life, being referred to as being “dumb and slow” by teachers, friends and yes, even family alike.
The process of reading involves many of Life’s gifts such as your eyes, hands, fingers, your nervous system and brain. It enables you to share knowledge and improve your frame of reference and decision-making whilst building character and relationships, and much more.
Reading – and its flipside, writing – required the development of alphabets, which was a huge intellectual advance. It meant that written records could be kept, which had a significant impact on knowledge-sharing and commerce.
The Ancient Library of Alexandria, Egypt – established in the 3rd Century – was one of the largest and most significant centers of knowledge in the ancient world, and part of a greater complex where most of the famous philosophers and thinkers studied hand-copied scrolls that were borrowed from around the world.
One version of history is that this beacon of light was sadly burnt down by Julius Caesar in 46 BC and others over time, and today stands as one symbol of the willful destructions of cultural and other knowledge.
Knowledge is power.
Earlier political and religious authorities initially used the written word to subjugate and maintain their position of power over the masses by way of closely guarded secrets and knowledge. Religious learnings and scientific documents were written down and perpetuated by scribes and monks who laboriously re-wrote them for “internal circulation and consumption”.
Around 1439 Johannes Gutenberg brought an end to this in Europe by introduced movable printing type, heralding in the bulk book printing revolution which is widely regarded as one of the most important events in history.
It played a key role in the unrestricted circulation of information and ideas, which became a keystone of the Renaissance and the Reformation – ushering in the Age of Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution – forming the basis for our modern-day knowledge-based life and the spreading of learning to the masses.
Blessed are the children whose parents enjoy reading a bed-time story to them, tucked in, wrapped up with a good-night kiss and hug that builds a special bond between parent and child – extending their character and preparing them for Life.
Reading uplifting books and magazines give your brain a much-needed mental work-out. It builds cognitive ability and improves vocabulary, verbal intelligence and general knowledge.
Those who read as children will in all probability continue to do so throughout life. It is thus important to expose children to reading from an early age, and assist those who have an impairment, to help them enrich their lives.
The Word is mightier than the Sword. People can be physically slayed (and libraries burnt down) but ideas cannot be undone, especially if they have been propagated by way of multiple means – word of mouth, written and otherwise.
Intellectual (and social) development is often based on critical reading which questions the purpose and content of written text, especially where and when it involves social causes.
It may ignite a spark and help grow an understanding of issues – empowering us intellectually to reach conclusions about how we – and our society – should act and grow. Two prime examples are an increased awareness of and approach to associated injustices of the ‘isms” such as racist, sexism, ageism, and how to better treat this planet – our home.
Heal through reading.
A great and longstanding friend of mine has recently been submerged for months in a dark and lonely depression. Through reading uplifting books – and writing some of the most heart-wrenching but beautifully poignant emails – she started to find solace, seeing an ever-growing light as part of her treatment and long climb back to the Top of her Mountain of Life.
The HEArt of HEAL spells READ.
- Reading – and writing – required the development of alphabets and ways to “spread the word”.
- It led to the Renaissance – the basis for our modern-day knowledge-based society.
- Reading uplifting books and magazines gives your brain a much-needed mental work-out.
- The Word – and Thought – is mightier than the Sword.
- Intellectual (and social) development is often based on critical reading.
- The HEArt of HEAL spells READ.
- Treat books with respect – in whatever form. They represent someone’s intellect – and may help develop yours.
- Read a bed-time story to your children. Visit an aged or sick person and read to them.
- Expose your children to reading as soon as possible in life.
- Read with purpose.
- Let reading empower you – intellectually, socially, spiritually.
- Heal through reading – and writing.