The Rewards of Active Reading
Dedicated to Jordan Christopher, my son. My SoulJAH!
So the most important job you have to do in life does not have organized instructions like what exists for far less important jobs. I mean, your VCR or DVD player come with instructions. What about how to make relationships work? Where is the manual for that? The answer is simple and complex at the same time. EVERYTHING. Yep! In order to understand yourself first and other people next, one main thing you have to be is a reader, a reader of everything.
Understand me SoulJAH, I don’t mean that you have to read every single piece of printed material in order to achieve understanding; but you have to read enough and have a good attitude towards reading continuously to be current in your behavior and speech. What is the basis for good, positive, productive relationships? Not just what comes out of your body, but what comes out of your mind - In other words, not just sperm and ejaculate, but your thoughts, words, actions, sperm and ejaculate. Remember, your structure is really one integrated system, so whatever you neglect, you do so to your own detriment. Now what comes out is based on what you put in. If all you put in is rubbish, then trust me, all you say and do will be rubbish; and the all you will be able to attract is someone interested in or attracted to…rubbish.
Of course, you have to decide for yourself what is foolishness. I am barely a good enough judge for myself to take on the burden of deciding for someone else. My attitude is this though: When I am 400,000 years old and on my dying bed, surrounded by you and all the rest of my issue, I should be able to say to myself. “Well at least I have read everything that I could get my hands on.”
"Word" at work!
Why should one read?
You can read for several reasons, here are three; you can read for survival. There are several things that you need to know and remind yourself of continuously to live a long and healthy life. Remember now, health has different manifestations, so far we have: physical mental, psychological, emotional and spiritual. If you don’t read actively, then you forget, by forgetting you put yourself through pain. The more pain, the less health; until finally, you get tired of it all and succumb. Most times, your children get to watch and imitate your bad attitude until a trend is set that will plague your family for (if there is no intervention), eternity.
You can also read for information. Most people’s careers are dependent on them having current information. The world is constantly changing; nothing remains the same forever, to quote a good friend of mine. “No condition is permanent.” If you don’t update your knowledge regularly, you quickly become out-dated and your techniques become obsolete. At this time you begin to lose money and nobody likes that situation. So it is important to keep abreast of what is happening in your universe. This involves imbibing new information consistently… or in other words…reading.
Then you can read for fun. This is when you know you are getting hot! If you can lock yourself away for days by finding out what you like and immersing yourself in it, you can be confident that you are on your way to ‘becoming’. No matter what kind of material that you find that you like, it is bound to have positive effects on your ability to express, inform and create. St John writes “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with GOD and the Word was GOD.” Now what I want you to gather from this is: God is the same yesterday, today and forever, so if GOD was the Word in the beginning then, GOD is certainly the Word today, and all you have to do to know GOD is to know the Word, get it?
The churches are going to say that there is more to it than that, and guess what? They would be right to say that. Their being right however does not defeat logic. Plus, you want to remember this example for future reference Sun, You can be right in Hell. That is one saying; here is another, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. Why do I say this?
The Bible also says “Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven”. Well I thought about that, (when I was younger I had a lot of time to think), do you know what occurred to me? It was all association, the Kingdom of Heaven is the Kingdom of God and God is the Word. So the Kingdom of God is the Kingdom of the Word…
Serena reads and excels!
Heaven and Example!
Now that was a good enough lead for me to invest some time into! What did I do you inquire? Well, I went schools, churches libraries, theaters and anywhere else where words were interacted with intensely (another good place used to be rum bars, not anymore though, my how things change!). I wrote poetry, songs and stories, and I read greedily. I surrounded myself with the best of human expression in music, art and movies; I expressed myself as eloquently and positively as I could to my brethren and sisters, and when I made a mistake, I apologized, learned and moved on, just as all my reading recommended. What was the result? Yes man, you guessed it … Heaven!!! Just as the good book promised!
So what do I suggest? Well I have a jaded view, but read everything here SoulJAH! Everything! I give you an example, when your Mother and I were still living together in Houston, Texas; I would go to the corner store and buy alcohol. Now we were students at the time, and were not allowed to have a lot of money, so we had to go cheap. I started to drink this one bottle (Can’t remember the name for the life of me) that was very potent. I loved it! You couldn’t talk, so I would just zone for hours smoking and drinking this liquor. Your Mother hated this behavior, I don’t think she had anything against smoking then, but this drinking had her worried. So she confronted me one day.
“Have you read the label on this bottle that you are drinking? She asked quietly. I had, but I can be quite the devil when it pleases me so I denied that I had, just to see where she was going with this conversation. I know her well, we were friends for a while before we became lovers; I can smell the storm coming, you know?
“It says ‘Contains sulphites’.” she continued. As you well know, your Mom is very fair skinned, by now, she had turned pink, which meant strong emotion. “What are sulphites?” she finished.
She had me there, I couldn’t answer. (One of the three times that has happened with anyone except my parents, who leave me speechless on a daily basis). Not only that, but I had been contemplating this question myself, “What are sulphites?” I had convinced myself that as long as no one noticed that I was drinking sulphites it could not harm me. (I was twenty eight!) But now she comes along and spoils the fun. If I keep drinking it and it hurts me, I won’t be able to say no one told me, y’know? Yeah, she really fucked that up for me. Sulphites! I stopped drinking from that damn bottle.
Moral: Read Kid! READ!