There are times that we pause in life and ponder on just anything. Probably this is one of those times. The Seven Habits advised that we should “begin with the end in mind.” Not this time. I have nowhere to go. This is a journey to unreached places of my mind. There’s a thrill when you just write anything with no end in mind. You discover something new. Sometimes, it’s terrifying. You get to know more of your true self apart from how other sees you.
I’m here in my room facing an ACER Extensa 4630z laptop trying to search for words worth typing. Quotations like “There is nothing hard in this life cause I have the courage to try and faith to believe”, “One man’s dream can go beyond a lifetime”, and “In great attempts, it is glorious even to fail” surround me on the walls. These quotes are inescapable reminders during my idle naps. It has subliminal effect on me. Whether they are true or not depends on how one lives with them.
Before me just left side of the laptop are books piled up. From top to bottom are Walker Percy’s The Second Coming, C.S. Lewis’s The Silver Chair, an NIV Bible, Salah Jubair’s The Long Road to Peace and John Maxwell’s Maximize Your Day. I read them to fill in my minds with ideas, hoping they could be of help someday. Above all, these entertain me. No, I haven’t finished reading all of them. I’m not in a hurry either. It depends on what book captures my interest at the moment that I take time reading it.
For some time he had been feeling depressed without knowing why. In fact, he didn’t even realize he was depressed. Rather was it the world and life around him which seemed to grow mire senseless and farcical each passing day. –The Second Coming,p.3
It was a dull autumn and Jill Pole was crying behind the gym.-The Silver Chair, p.1
My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”- Bible,p. 494
With this as our beacon light, we are sure that the future is very bright and promising, but as has always been highlighted, the need to sacrifice and struggle hard is always endorsed.-The Long Road to Peace, p.178
Don’t try to conquer the world until you’ve taken care of things in your own backyard.-Maximize your day, p. 3
Reading does not make one intelligent. It just widens perspective. What he remembers and how he applies the ideas are what matter. A person who reads a thousand books and has not contributed to the community is nothing compared to man who after reading the Parable of a Good Samaritan, walked out from his room and helped build the neighbor’s storm-stricken home.
“Reading is having fellowship with great minds.” On the other hand, it could also be an opportunity to have a fellowship with dull minds. Both experiences widen one’s perspective. But is there really a dull mind who could write a book?
Reading is not about “how many” but on the “how much”. I know of a man who resolved to read one book a week. That means 52 books a year. But there’s one book that he reads once every year. What book is that? It’s Oswald Sanders Spiritual Leadership. That book is his main book. He found timeless principles on that book on which he stood upon. If you want to know about him and have a glimpse on how he thinks, read that book. He is one of the most sought-after motivational speakers in General Santos. Choose three or four books worthy of your attention and bury yourself on those. Master those books. Live them. But this should not limit you in exploring other books. You are what you read. No, you are how you respond on what you read.
Reading requires an open mind. It’s not for the weak. It’s for the courageous one who is not threatened with acquainting new idea. This idea might alter his lifestyle, or change his belief. I’m a Christian. I believe that the “Bible is the word of God, written by chosen men, the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit” (a definition taught by my Sunday school teacher when I was 7). I believe it’s the Holy Word of God. But should it prevent me from reading the Muslim’s Qur’an or Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra?
Be discriminate in choosing. Thousands of books are published every day. You don’t have a lifetime to read all of those. “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested.”
There’s also a story of a man who borrows books from the library. He just picks anything regardless of the titles. He read all of them of different genre and from various disciplines. The result? He has wide understanding on different fields and of different people, which is helpful in his law profession. Does this not contradict the above point on being discriminative in choosing what to read? What do you think?
“Armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come” says Victor Hugo. Many of these ideas reside in books. They need a person like you to give them a break.
Lastly let me share this (from the Encarta Encyclopedia): Readers may be divided into four classes: 1. Sponges, who absorb all they read and return it nearly in the same state, only a little dirtied. 2. Sand-glasses, who retain nothing, and are content to get through a book for the sake of getting through the time. 3. Strain-bags, who retain merely the dregs of what they read, and return it nearly in the same state, only a little dirtied. 4. Mogul diamonds, equally rare and valuable, who profit by what they read, and reflecting, refracting, and enlarging upon it enable others to profit by it also. Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 – 1834)
I love the last seven words “enable others to profit by it also”. Book is sharing in itself. So, share your books, and your thoughts about them. More so, share who you are.