Why am I Reading This?

Posted: April 8, 2012 in Education, Health and wellness, News and politics, Personal Growth, Politics

Once in while it behooves us to stop and ponder whether what we are doing is important; or whether we should turn our attentions to other, more pressing priorities. I did just that a few moments ago as I read an article by Christopher Dunagan in this morning’s Kitsap Sun, “Sediment flow at old dam site watched”.

I am often checking my motives for reading the articles by Mr. Dunagan, thinking I might be doing this because he is the wife of my grandson’s head start teacher; and he helped us move from our former residence. While this might be an underlying motive, I think what is more important is my desire to be aware of my environment and the features, live and ascetic.

So, would I have everybody to be this zealous of his own awareness regarding what’s happening? The short answer is, “yes”. In fact I would (metaphorically speaking) surgically remove a non-reader’s senses, one by one, so they would understand the importance of being aware of one’s environment and community.

I also believe that those who ignore their environment and community ultimately fall into a pit of ignorance and lethargy. Once they do this they are almost sure to become morose and depressed; to the point of drinking to stop the feelings of emptiness.

I would also offer this community awareness as an alternative to music to spur mental activity and slow the fall into Alzheimer’s.

“Those who don’t read are no better off than those who can’t” is a very good expression of my reasons to read. Yes, one should balance reading non-fiction and fiction. The first is a direct connect to the world, the later is a good backdrop that enables us to more fully understand our world. If one accepts gaining knowledge as an ongoing education might even accept the idea that reading, thought it is not the only way of gaining knowledge, is important in its being a more intensive way to gain knowledge than hearing or viewing sources.

Now, I have to offer a slight departure from this radical approach. I see my grandson, who is high functioning autistic, getting a lot of mind stimulation from watching certain shows on TV, and movies. I would offer that some minds are stymied by the challenge of converting the written word to mental images. The quest to alter this is worth pursuing, however. If the non-reader were to mount the challenge to improve reading comprehension, he/she would gain another important avenue of improvement.

“An informed citizenry is essential to a functioning democracy” is also a great reason to keep informed of one’s community. I would create multiple copies of signs to accompany displays of local print media. Of course this is a chauvinistic approach that ignores the truth that the print media is not the only way to become informed. It does imply that the print copy that is available to the reader is the best; and draws the prospective reader to access it, either by purchasing it or visiting the library (that temple of knowledge in most communities) and reading available issues there.

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