We get lost in the “work” of the study sometimes and are unable to see the rewards. It would be like painting a picture, creating a grand sculpture, attending a play, learning to dance or reading a good book and participate for a single day and lose interest because there may not be an immediate result since we’ve only just begun. We aren’t looking at the whole picture, just a small moment in time where we are inexperienced and unable to grasp the wonder of it all!
As adults, we often, like young people look at the idea of “studying” as a chore rather than something to be welcomed with exuberance. I admit our days are usually filled with crisis after crisis, deals that need to be made, problems that need to be solved, creations that need to be invented, meals that need to be prepared and other daily stress situations. By the time we have “time” to sit down with a book the last thing we want is to make our minds work any harder than it has all day. We’re spent and want nothing more than to “veg,” relax and let the world pass us by! So we choose to watch a television show because we don’t have to “think!”
Sadly, our young people often share this emotion. Again, I’m not certain I blame them on one hand. Their school day is filled with competition with their peers, studying for "the test,” plugging through subjects in which they have no interest, and a thousand other “stressors,” so when they are free to “not think” they choose to do exactly that.
So how can our young people and adults be encouraged to read for the sheer sake of reading, when we are so emotionally spent from our days? Even if it doesn’t seem possible, we really can benefit from reading, even when we are tired! Reading makes us active participants in the world around us as we get lost in an endless perspective of other people’s lives and experiences. We have an opportunity to grow in ways essential to our personal and social health as reading increases memory skills and our learning capacity; improves focus; and depending on the context of the reading material, can lower blood pressure, which in essence, can relax us!
But I admit, I like the reason the step mom gave her step-daughter best: as a way to visit grand castles, eat in Spain, or ride the waves of a ship. A person can exchange “grand castles” for river yachts, “small restaurant” for a fancy banquet hall in the Amazon, and “waves of a ship” to riding the wind in a hot air balloon, or any variety of circumstances and places.
I challenge you to pick up a book ….and visit a faraway place! Share the latest adventure you found between the covers of a good book!