The conscious reader
“Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible and then suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
– Francis of Assisi
It’s been a week since I joined Newton Consulting India and it feels as if I have been here for a while. The camaraderie between my co-workers is quite delightful and they have this warmth that makes a newbie feel welcomed. Work has gradually started to gain momentum and as i look forward to the challenges that lie ahead, they just keep presenting themselves to me. Astonishingly, one presented itself just yesterday.
To elaborate, the organization’s Sr. VP asked me “ do you read the newspaper everyday?” A question quite simple in nature, yet it startled me!
I am not a regular reader, but to impress her I said yes. To my surprise, she threw a question on a front-page news article and there goes my poor white lie being discovered. With an encouraging smile and smirk I was advised to start reading the paper religiously everyday.
So why do people read newspaper everyday? Why is it so important? The need to read a newspaper never caught my fancy like it did this time around and my grey cells started working overtime to find the answers.
Newspapers for centuries have been a reliable source for news and information for the masses as well as it connects the world around you. The world is a dynamic place, constantly changing with time and newspapers have consistently kept us updated with news that we need and what is not too good to read too. In other words it presents the good and the not so good hence one picks and chooses what they like to read about based on their interest.
For a modern day being, it is hardly possible to read everything that it contains. One person may be interested in politics, another in sports. These are matters of personal preference. But generally, it is necessary for all alike to read the progress that is being made from day to day in the affairs of our country as well as inform us by providing us with a glimpse of the global happenings.
A newspaper is actually like a chronicle and an encyclopedia on happening. It seeks not only to inform but to intrigue, to stimulate, and to excite. But every coin has two sides to it. If on one hand a newspaper informs and fascinates, on the other it can mislead and make us build false opinions about reality based on happening. Reporters have the trick for sensationalizing news that excites national passions. A reader must be particularly on guard against this type of journalism and not base opinions on what is written unless rationalized and discussed out with a group of sensible people. The reader must be critical and circumspect.
How does a reader protect them self from being wrongly opinionated? Anyone can be opinionated, irrespective of the nature of knowledge they posses, true or false. But will it help an individual or the society to have an ideal existence?
Developing wisdom is what will help. It’s the necessity for an idealistic evolution of the world both in metaphysical and physical sense. But what is wisdom? Wisdom is the moral component of a human mind, which takes into account the application of information worth remembering and knowledge that matters to understanding not only how the world works, but also how it should work. And that requires a moral framework of what should and shouldn’t matter; as well as an ideal of the world at its highest potentiality.
For instance lets examine the case of how eunuchs in Trilokpuri area of Delhi, courageously halted the second wave of riot from destroying the community. Wisdom suggests people who save lives and protect society to be perceived as heroes and should be respected, regrettably the eunuchs whom most see as outcastes and shunned away; they stood up for what is conventionally called taking a decision using the wisdom of what to do right and the wrong that needed to be stopped.
It’s time I believe we urgently need to start introspecting the way our mind thinks, absorbs and processes information. The age of being ignorant has long gone. Building a world that is driven by the knowledge we gain and the wisdom we develop, is a responsibility of us all.
Now I know when I write this blog, the importance of reading a newspaper. By the way it is not just about reading what you like to read, but it’s the sheer knowledge we gain from it and the wisdom that’s attained out of knowledge, which contributes to making the society a better place to be in.