I sometimes feel that a considerable chunk of problems in one’s life will be automatically solved if one cultivates the habit of reading. You need not act pedantic and read any heavy stuff if you don’t like them; even books for cheap thrills will do (which I happen to heart 🙂 ). But once you have a book to give you company you will never complain of boredom or a lack of life again. Monotony, lack of clue as to how to spend time, frustration-all these turn problems of the past once you lose yourself into the yellowed pages of your favorite book.
When I was a kid, like six years old, I was one of the privileged few I knew who had a computer at home along with a working internet connection. I got introduced to the world of social networking quite prematurely. In spite of that, I never had problems in developing relationship and social skills. The virtual world was exciting but coming from a family of voracious readers and being an avid reader myself from a very very young age, I never got addicted to it. That said, I am as much smitten with video games as my ten-year old nephews and frankly, I really enjoy the fact that social networking tries to fulfill a very basic need of human beings-that of communication, irrespective of the physical distance between people.
Now when I see my little nephews and nieces, I wonder why they complain about having nothing to do, why they get bored so easily whenever they aren’t within spitting distance of a computer or a cellphone. or why they almost always need their gaming consoles to keep themselves busy. Guys, you have rich parents. Coax them to invest wisely in books; in no time they will stop worrying about you attaining wayward behavior and you will just have no time to complain about anything. I mean, there are Harry Potter, Enid Blyton, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Batman, Hansel and Gretel, Little Mermaid, Aslan, Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys, fairies, soldiers, witches, wizards, hobbits, werewolves, vampires and many other people to meet, befriend and fight! When I was young my parents struggled really hard to make ends meet, but never did they object to buying me books and letting me explore this remarkable and truly magical world of written words.
I was left to my own resources a lot during the growing years because of ailing grandparents, property disputes, parents working overtime to put food on the table. But never did I feel dejected or blamed them for my upbringing (hey I turned out just fine, I’d like to believe 😉 ). Books never let me feel lonely or bored; there were just so many things to read and explore! Books taught me patience, humility, the extent of human endurance, love; books gave me courage to ask questions and think my own thoughts instead of parroting others; books taught me to appreciate my parents’ sacrifices and love and as a result, I had an extremely peaceful adolescence and almost always get along with my parents, the inevitable parent-offspring disagreements notwithstanding. In sorrow and in joy, in loneliness, the magic of written words never deserted me. Despite several problems, our family turned out genuinely happy and at peace with the world.
Grab a book and see how it works wonders to dispel most of your worries, or at least give you some momentary peace and an escape route from the world of harsh realities.