I see so many folks in my social circle and in my community who want to better their lives in certain areas–their love lives, finances, health, parenting–and who want to effectively contribute to the betterment of society (e.g. abolishing systematic racism), but they don’t want to invest time into reading. They set aside time for everything else but not to crack open a book to investigate and analyze the information that will empower them to create strategies for change in these areas.
Many people don’t realize, the method in which we digest and internalize knowledge is a significant factor in how effectively we are going to put that know-how into action. And, while there’s also value in obtaining the kinds of news we can use by watching a movie or CNN, by hearing a spoken word poem, or by listening to a song or an audio book, THE ACT OF READING has scientifically been shown to be more beneficial than receiving information through the other aforementioned mediums.
As writers, I feel it’s our inherent duty to not only recognize and honor the unique power that the act of reading holds for the reader to utilize for themselves but, also, to promote and encourage a culture of reading and writing in our communities (not just with the youth), because we’re aware of how greatly the act of doing so will enrich the lives of those in our society. And, not just within the confines of grade school academia. Reading–investigating and analyzing information–should be a daily practice, especially with the current state our country is in.
The act of reading and writing enhances some of the key qualities we need to be a better member of society–strong critical thinking skills and a strong sense of empathy (a deep wanting to connect and understand our fellow man) just to name a few.