Good evening. It’s about 11:30pm and with lots of pleasure from my personal study, I have decided to edit this teaching that I did some time ago on one of my most cherished topics. I hope you piece together one or two phrases that will ignite your intellectual stick to further illuminate your path to dignity.
My last days in the University were rusty. I near called it a quit before graduating. While contemplating that, I came in contact with two books (and of course a friend) and then everything changed from my inside out! Simply I had an epiphany! A mental surge occurred that projected me at least a decade beyond my then immediate reality.
What happened differently? The magic wand: two books and a friend!
To buttress this insight I had gotten; I ran into this remarkable observation by Charlie Jones months later - “Five years from now you will be pretty much the same as you are today except for two things: the books you read and the people you get close to.” Boy! I hit another gusher!
Let’s focus on the books you read.
One quick way to enhance your value is to develop a reading culture. And the quickest way to be valuable is to be knowledgeable. When you become more knowledgeable, you become more valuable. There is no more secret to self-enhancement beyond this!
It is not good for a soul to be without knowledge.
One of the greatest problems of any African community around the world is that we are not a book loving society; as the adage goes: we are not a book people. An average black man doesn’t like reading except for the sole purpose of certification. But as much as it is okay to read for schooling reasons, it’s best to study for mental emancipation or liberation. Mark Twain once remarked “I will never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
Through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.
True emancipation is mental emancipation. Opened books always provide the avid reader with the wings to engage in a flight. Beloved, you only realize you have the potential to fly, when you begin to access volumes. There is no alternative to what a reading habit can do to your mental health.
In the first year of his reign I, Daniel understood by the books…
A man once found his 15year old son arranging gym tools for his regular muscle building exercise. He beckon to him and said, “In as much as it is important to develop your physical muscles.” Then he added, “People who solely develop their physique always depend and work for people who have learnt to develop their minds.” Please, pencil down: The limbs will always serve the mind.
Really you can’t function beyond what you know. Unfortunately not even God or any deity can help you here! You have got to develop your mind. And the way to do it is to bury your mind in between pages! Imagine the looks of a chap that hasn’t eaten possibly for a month; his depleting energy and frail looks will definitely be obvious. So is it with someone that hasn’t read a book for a given period; his mind will be void of deliverables and the might for insightfulness will elude him. What food is to your stomach is what books are to your mind.
To live above the tides of the age, you have to improve your mental strength. You can’t solve problems at the same level they were created. To play globally, read globally. You will influence tomorrow by reading today. And when you know what kings don’t know, they will come and pitch tent with you.
So, you may be asking what should I read to begin with:
1. The Bible
Well, I am not being biased here; I believe the most impactful book to the human mind is the Bible.
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
Without spending further time here, let’s share the opinion of two famous American Statesmen on what they have to say about the Bible: Horace Greeley said “it is impossible to mentally or socially enslave a Bible reading people” while George Washington added that “it is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible”. Wow!
2. Resourceful Books
You are a product of what you read. It’s a kind of garbage-in, garbage-out process. Reading is a kind of reproductive activity. A social intercourse, the fusion of two minds (reader and writer) that lead to production of ideas. Another leader remarked, “What is reading, but silent conversation!”
For me one way to experience all society: the ancient, the presence and the future is through the reading of books.
3. Area – Specific Books
You can’t be reading law reports and end-up as a surgeon. Neither will you spend all your time reading medical books and at the same time anticipate being a successful solicitor. No! It doesn’t work that way. In line with this, the poet Ralph Emerson exclaims “a man is known by the books he reads.” So train your mind for the anticipated ambition you have at heart.
To begin, I suggest the following:
1. Tell Yourself it’s Inevitable
It is inevitable that to be relevant in this knowledge economy as they call it, then you must be a book fellow. Books liberate you. Once you learn to read, you will be forever free. As President James Madison said, “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance.”
2. Seek to Know a Little More
Hunger precedes every feast. Most times all the difference is a little hunger; a little extra. You must crave knowledge to truly seek the succour of books. My advice: never again pass a book without at least admiring the cover. For the proof of desire is in the pursuit of it.
3. Begin with Less Voluminous and Interesting Books
You don’t learn to chew with bones, you begin with fleshy parts. Start the reading adventure with books that have less volume and enticing content.
4. Own a Library
A library begins with a table, a chair and a book. It is an intellectual crime to live in an apartment without having a study space. As wardrobe is to the body so is a library to the mind; books cloth your mind.
5. Share the Dividend
When you empower others, you are naturally empowered. Don’t hoard what you have come to know, share and the desire to grow will be unquenchable.
POINT TO RUMINATE ON: Blessed are they that read for they shall lead.
Authored by: ANOINTED ENOH