We all gain knowledge and understanding through reading

Dear Editor,

There is not a better time for me when I pick up a book or newspaper and sink myself so deep, that I become transfixed in that moment of delight, where the author takes me on a journey and I am unaware of my wife beckoning. Two people are vying for my attention; on one hand it’s my wife, on the other it’s the author.

Many times it’s the Stabroek News Sunday edition reading Ian McDonald or the editorial. It is my fervent belief that this author/poet is very distinctive and should I say inspirational or motivational? I say both! He brings to the mature reader’s mind a certain kind of class in terms of his artistry and aesthetic delivery of thoughts.

And in many instances, the thoughts that form our actions also determine our knowledge of things, yes, things that relate to life itself. Whether in the field of politics, homiletics, dialectics or simple domestic matters, we all gain knowledge and understanding through reading.

Many people today detest reading poetry, but truth be told, poetry sharpens the mind and improves our thinking ability.

For the past two weeks the local media have been inundated with editorials analysing educational items of interest to the reading public. But not one of these editorials stresses or emphasizes the reading of poetry as a springboard to creative thinking. Creative or innovative thinking must be  factored to bring about the kind of success we all desire as students of life. Your success, my success will depend on how much and what content we read daily.

Of recent I was invited to a graduation ceremony at the National Culture Centre. This graduation featured children aged five moving from kindergarten to primary; on stage, were eleven children doing an item on the programme. A display with the letters spelling out ‘kindergarten’ was featured in the item and the children called out each letter. The child with the first R spoke emphatically. The intended symbolism of that very important letter was very clear; it was vital to understand what reading at that level of education is to the child. In my opinion that particular item on the afternoon’s proceedings, moreso the emphasis on reading, stood out from the other items.

Editor, reading will always be pivotal in the dynamics of a child’s ability to comprehend and understand the various concepts in the process of learning. I recall some years ago a parent invested in buying a book for a four-year-old to read every day. One book a day reading turned that young boy into a Guyana scholar (honours student) and prepared the way for him to win scholarships to study overseas.

Many parents today never read in their personal life, yet they want their child to excel in reading when they should be the example the child needs to love reading. I read a book written by Sidney Poitier entitled The Measure of a man; He was a black American from the Caribbean who became a famous film star in the late sixties. This man, uneducated and unlearned began his education on the streets of New York. His only means of educating himself in a white man’s country was reading left-over daily newspapers either in a public space or club or sometimes in a library. Reading brought purpose to him, and made him rise above others when he had nothing going for him.

Although my reading is pleasurable, I find it rewarding reading the books of the Bible. Those authors lived centuries ago (thousands of years) yet there seems to be some correlation to present-day authors in some ways.

Yours faithfully,

Apostle Vanrick Beresford

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