I wholeheartedly believe that I may have found the answer to every problem in society. Although my ideology may be rooted in arrogance, I believe it is supported with enough intellect for it to be a sustainable mode of thought. There is one thing, that if every person in our country did, would eradicate poverty and crime, fix the economy, and bring back stability to the home and improve our relationships with others. I believe that if everybody read a minimum of one book per week, we could solve many of our problems. Is this just a fanciful idea? Does reading really make you a better person? I believe that it does.
Through various books that I have read the main theme seems to be that ignorance is rooted in a lack of knowledge, and that education, true education, liberates us from that ignorance. Think about it. How many problems in society are caused by a lack of knowledge by the people in power, and more importantly the lack of knowledge of the masses. Would the politicians be able to dominate us if citizens knew the constitution like the back of their hand? Would the media be able to sway us into following their dogma if we all had a thorough education? Would our economy be suffering as it is if every person knew the ins and outs of finance, economics, and investing practices?
Imagine a world where everyone read one book per week. 52 books in a year. In a decade that would mean that every person would have the knowledge from 500 books. That would bring an unprecedented liberation of thought not seen since the French Revolution. We would begin to rival the levels of thought brought forth in the ages of antiquity. If what I’m saying sounds confusing to you, maybe you should read more.
When I say you should read more books, I’m not talking about the twilight series. I’m not against reading for entertainment purposes, but the types of books i’m talking about are non fiction books from the people who are at the tops of their respective fields. I would suggest that we all read books by genius investors Benjamin Graham and his predecessor Warren Buffett, to learn the seemingly mythical ways that money works. I suggest that we read the stories of history so as not to repeat the same mistakes of our ancestors. I suggest that we read the texts of every great religion, because whether you believe in them or not they do contain foundational tenets on morality, and the laws that govern society are rooted in religious ideology. I would suggest that we read the stories of great peacemakers like Ghandi and Mother Theresa to show us how to be more compassionate to our fellow man. I would suggest reading books or the greatests minds of human history: Confucius, Newton, Plato, Aristotle, Da Vinci, Einstein, Hawking; The list goes on and on.
The words and teachings of the most successful people to ever walk this earth are readily available to us, yet most of us ignore them. The secrets to success are all hidden in books. The majority of us use a trial and error approach, because our ego tells us that we are so smart that we can come up with the answers all by ourselves, and this is simply not true.
In the book “The Selfish Gene” written by world renown evolutionary psychologist Richard Dawkins he states:
“Survival machines that can simulate the future are one jump ahead from survival machines who only learn on the basis of overt trial and error. The trouble with trial is that it takes time and energy, the trouble with overt error is that it is often fatal. Simulation is both safer and faster.”
We can use books to “simulate” the potential outcomes of our actions rather than risking fatality through mere trial and error. We may not be in danger of literal fatality, but there are definitely metaphorical fatalities we are at risk of enduring; Financial fatality, social fatality, and moral fatality are just a few in a list of many pitfalls in life that can be avoided by simulation via the acquisition of knowledge through literature.
The average CEO reads a book a week, and the average American watches 3 to 4 hours of TV per day, and we wonder why the gap between the two is so wide. There’s no secret that holds the average man back from greatness; His own ignorance is his downfall. Be careful what you allow into your mind because your mind is the vehicle that steers you toward your destiny. Read more and you’ll know more. Since you’ll know more you’ll be able to do more. If you are able to do more you will get more. Seems simple enough right? Education will solve your problems. Dedicate yourself to a life of continual education and you will reach the mountaintops of whatever you are trying to achieve.