On Reading

“Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company, and reflection must finish him.”

~ John Locke

2018 was a year of significant tribulation and reconstruction for me, however (I think) I have emerged on the other side a more complete and purposeful individual. One can draw from strength they never knew they possessed in their lowest moments, and I found this to be particularly true this year. A place of unfathomable strength and wisdom is books, and I have turned to them for answers on many occasions.

Reading books should not simply be a hobby. Books are a way to connect to the past, to learn from the mistakes of those who have come before us; they are a guiding light and a gift to humanity. Diligent reading not only hones our literary skills, but also provides us with the armament necessary to fight for our beliefs, and to properly construct and articulate those beliefs. Reading allows us to collate the thoughts of those who came before us, and to make our own deductions as to what is true and what to believe in. I have always been a predominantly non-fiction reader, however in my attempt to explore fiction, I have found that it can be so much more than teenage novels like Harry Potter (nothing against Harry Potter, I love the Harry Potter series). Fiction allows the author to explore the social, cultural, moral and other dilemmas of the time without being constrained by reality. The author is free to write from any and every perspective, allowing the reader to be taken on a multi-dimensional voyage through the book. This literary freedom is where the true power of fiction lies, and is why there are things we can learn through fiction that historical writings can never fully replicate.

“Waste no more time in arguing what a good man should be. Be one.”

~ Marcus Aurelius

I enter 2019 with many goals, both professional and personal. But for this year, my primary goal is to try not to focus so much on the destination, and trust in His process. We don’t have a choice on whether or not we partake in this game of life and death, so we might as well just enjoy the ride.


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