Very regularly, you hear people say to the younger ones that they must read and read to enable them succeed in life. Not many people understand that, it is not reading to pass examination that is often referred to.
Reading to pass examination is a different exercise from reading for life. Indeed, reading profusely as a writer is different from reading for life. Reading for life is everybody’s activity while reading for creative writing or examination is an exercise for a selected target which is limited in value.
Reading for examination is an activity that is expected to lift the individual to a standard of measurement that eventually qualifies him for a specific recognition of having to certify and testify that certain sets of learning experiences have been attained. Or you set out to continue to read as a writer to put at your disposal variety of experiences or information that facilitates your art.
These are valid exercises and meaningful engagements. At the end of the day, only specific sets of objectives (knowledge) or learning experiences is acquired for those on examination journey. If parents or adults tell the young to always ‘study’, this is what they are talking about – examination. However, if they say you must always ‘read’ then they are talking about reading for life and not just to pass examinations.
Now, is it the child that must always read? The answer is no. Individuals in the community must also find time to read something daily. This reading does not have to be books alone but if an individual is so used to reading books daily that is great for him and by extension, the society. However, reading newspapers, magazines and other materials are as valuable as any other form of reading for life.
In fact, the act of reading is an exercise that does not necessarily discriminate between sectors or professional areas of engagement. For it, the human brain takes what is given to it whether good or bad. Therefore, it makes sense to segregate what to read at all times, especially for parents buying books for children. Indeed, not all books are good for the human mind. So, selecting books for children means parents themselves have read the book they are buying for their kids. If a book is too voluminous for on-the-spot assessment, the blurb gives you an instant picture of the contents of a book.
We must read for life because, life is a multi-dynamic, cross-cultural, interrelated, multi-disciplinary, complex, delicate, speedy, digital and treacherous,; all of which the individual must assess immediately and be able to take the most appropriate decisions that will harm no soul. The individual may not be able to do this effectively without a reasonable amount of knowledge about many aspects of life. Today, life has become simpler but more difficult that only those who are regularly reading and getting new information can keep up the pace of its evolution and counter-evolution that takes place every second due to the digitalization of its contents.
The leader must read to be able to keep track of his territory; he must read ‘peoples’ columns and opinion pages’ to get the pulse of his people. This is important since it has become clear that lieutenants of leaders are largely pretenders, liars, sycophants, deceits, fake, boot-lickers, mediocre, idiots and selfish. Reading media of opposition helps to get more than half of the truth a leader needs.
Reading expands the limit of one’s horizon about world views and enables cultural infusion which leads to understanding and accommodation of our social divergence. This in turn promotes peace and progress of communities who must live together.
Reading brings about development for the simple reason that citizens must directly or indirectly act from an informed angle.
Arbitrariness of our activities is removed and focus is established in our dwellings. This is why the Niger State Government launched her Intellectual Capital Project that led to the establishment of a Book Agency in the state.
Reading promotes library services and book-selling as well as a culture of proliferation of books in our neighbourhoods since readers will always demand for new materials to read.
Reading makes the individual calmer and more thoughtful, articulate, patient, sober, confident, high esteem, positively expressive, interactive and helpful. Reading makes the reader a teacher. Finally, reading could make an individual a gifted character because of the amount of information he has gathered and stored. Read, read and read!