I have the most vivid and powerful imagination. Sometimes it has even scared me. Wondering what crazy ideas, inventions will pop into my head next. And so many do, I have a file of ideas for inventions, constantly being added to. People often seem to ask how does my mind work, how do I come up with these ideas etc. The truth is that my imagination and my creativity are incredibly powerful and this is a part of me. It has been from a young age. When I was at junior school, Im not sure what age, I did not want to read books or even liked the idea of doing this. Thankfully my mother had other ideas and forced me to read every day and then would test me on what I had read to make sure that I was actually reading and not just pretending. Now, for many areas of my life, this may have resulted in a complete stalemate and I might have stubbornly fought with my Mom, however, due the good Lords’ grace, I almost or perhaps in spite of my complete lack of desire to read, started to enjoy reading. I was almost angry at this fact, but the more I read, the more I enjoyed it and the more it helped me in a myriad of ways, from developing my imagination, my vocabulary, opening me up to new ideas and concepts, new information and facts, it opened up my mind in so many ways. It was truly life changing and I shudder to think of what I would be had my darling Mom not forced me to read and followed through to make sure I was. I truly owe my Mom a debt I could never repay and I am so very grateful that she took the time and effort and loved me enough to do this.
Many are not so fortunate. I had a colleague who ‘tried’ to read a book, a novel after years of hating reading when I suggested this to him and he told me after a couple of chapters, there are multiple characters and a plot and it’s just too hard to try and figure out who’s speaking or what’s going on. Reading’s really hard work. And that’s the thing, reading makes you use your brain. The more you read, the more you use your brain and the less it may seem like hard work, unless the book is boring as a novel or a dry text book/business book etc. I am first and foremost a fan of novels, the most important books by far as they help to foster and deveop your creativity and because there is nothing better than a great story but I also read and enjoy other types such as business, autobiographies and such.
How many parents have been giving their kids books to read, most especially during this time of pestillence, of the Covid 19 outbreak? How many have bought kindles and bought books on their kindles for them and their families to read. How many have bought or hired audiobooks which while not as good as books due to all that happens in your brain when one reads, is a definite second to reading and can be very enjoyable when one does’nt feel like reading or just like lying down on the couch and listening to a story which the whole family can do or while traveling, a definite favourite.
Unfortunately, I bet many many people, just gave the kids access to a screen, a laptop, their own phone perhaps or the remote for the tv etc and left them be. Now, they may develop some dexterity with a keyboard, they may become familiar with some platforms on the internet and they could even learn a technical skill of value, say programming but what are they missing? How much cognitive growth and depth have they forfeited? Well, we will never know as they didn’t bother to read but as one of the great philosophers Marcus Cicero stated, if you have your own garden and a library, you have everything that you need.