7 Life lessons learnt from Reading books
The best thing ever happened to mankind is the development of a competency to transmute his latent thoughts into inwrought words. – Manas Madrecha.
The efficacy of an individual’s elocution to influence millions is ineluctable; the invention of printing press further augmented it. Books are the wellspring of knowledge, plenitude of entertainment and copiousness of companionship. In the course of journey, not only do they make us more informed, but also unveils untried domains to explore new vistas of self-discovery.
In childhood, my first love for literature was ignited by Harry Potter novels, that was continued by enlightening spiritual books in Sanskrit, Prakrit and Hindi (few of them being Rajyog by Vivekanand, Mahavir Vani, Samaraditya Charitra, etc.) and also, thrillers of Dan Brown or George R R Martin.
To learn is to live; to live is to learn. Not only does a book makes us more knowledgeable by its inked contents, but also opens, in mind, our closed windows to explore new vistas of self-discovery.
Herein I have enumerated 7 practical things that I have learned from reading, not some particular book, but in general by imbibing the wonderful reading habit:
Do not judge a book by its cover
It is rightly said that appearances can be deceptive. How can I know what kind of person someone is just by glancing at him or her! It would be detrimental to my own cause, if, by my lousy judgmental nature, I lose a prospective friend or admirer or lover. So, avoid developing prejudices. The cover of book can be attractive but can you say the same thing for the book? Similarly, even the faces of people can be a mask to their inner personality, whether bad or good, that is unfathomable by mere sight.
Do not have a preconceived notion
When we set to read a book, we may have an idea as to where this story will conclude, maybe because already told you about it. But as you turn the pages, you happily realize how wrong you were. Similarly, when you begin to know someone new, don’t have preconceived notions about him or her. As days pass, what a person will reveal in due course of your acquaintance is highly unexpected. He may turn out to be a mere reference, or might even become your favorite book. Surprises are what makes a relationship exciting.
If you think you know, you don’t know
What do you know when you begin with some totally new book? Can you summarize the entire story by merely seeing the cover, or for that matter, by reading just a few chapters? Even in case of people you don’t know, don’t have an already judged opinion based on rumors. You can’t claim to know how a person is by looking at the countenance or even by being acquainted with him or her for a few days.
You don’t want to be one of those seven blind men who set to decipher what an elephant looks like, and ended up with incorrect ignorance. How do you know what lies in store, when you begin the new chapter? What do you know how unconventional and how many sequels are going to come? Even if you have read the entire book and have stayed with it for long, how do you know what kind of prequel the book has already been through?
You can never know any person in totality of their existence. Accept everyone, with their indelible past, for who they are. And you will be able to design an amiable future.
Not everyone will agree with you
In your life, you must have definitely come across some content that might not agree to what you already have in your mind. You will be repugnant to anything that opposes you and will feel like an urge to shut the book. In case of intense loathing, you may even backbite (or even slander) the book’s reputation by recommending others not to read it. But, you won’t be able to change the contents that are already printed.
Such books will give you new perspectives to see the same things that you used to see differently. Maybe thereafter you will like it or dislike it, but you will come to know that something can be looked in such particular way. That will eliminate your rigidity, imbibe flexibility in you, make you much understanding than you were before you knew the book. You realize that – We all have difference of opinions, and that makes us similar to each other.
Every person is a lesson
Sometimes, we have, for instance, the misfortune of coming across Chetan Bhagat novels. (
With no offense being intended, they were truly pathetic.) Similarly, in life, we do come across certain pessimistic or sadistic or unnecessary people, that we later hope shouldn’t have happened. But, we can and must learn from any situation that arises. Maybe, such people gives us a lesson to avoid negativity in future life and to have only inspirational company.
And, by good fortune, if we do find fellowship of books that exhilarates you, then too the lesson of seeking only the company that plays a vital role in your progress, is reminded. Bad experiences teaches us a lot; instead of whining for the time lost or wasted, we must try to find a silver lining in every thundering weather and emulate whatever good we can.
No two persons are the same
All books, though made of similar material, are different with respect to content, story, moral, or ornamental language. Similarly, no person is the exact replica of one another. Every man has his own preferences, persona, and practical approach.
Absence of parity in humanity make things more beautiful, thereby giving us more opportunities to know more and more different people. And acceptance of the fact that every individual is exclusive makes us more loving towards mankind, unconditionally.
There is a bigger world outside one person
Often we get engrossed so much by one book, that we tend to forget that the world is not confined to a few hundred pages of the book. There exists a world outside it too, that is yet to be unraveled. Similarly when we get too attached to some singular person, we lose our conscience to acknowledge the existence and beauty of others.
Love, that is constrained to one or a few, is an illusion. If you restrain your love, the purpose of love is lost. It is highly imperative for all of us to realize that love is meant for all of us to love all of us.
Reading is a sublime exercise, whether you apply it on books or people or even your own self. So, let us descry the subtleties of peeps, analyze, interpret and experiment the lessons with and on self, to make our life better, in any possible manner.
Because, in the end, what are we? Living autobiographies, yet to finish our story and get ready for another sequel.
Bhala Ho (Stay Blessed)
Â© by Manas Madrecha