"If you feed your mind like you feed your stomach, then you'll never have to worry about feeding your stomach." - Albert Einstein
One of the first actions I took after graduating from college was to read whatever I wanted. My mind had been immersed in my studies and college experiences that when I returned home, I felt out of place.
For five years, I habitually attended class and typed papers at 2:00 A.M. Now, the only thing I had to concentrate on was a job. I began working at the library which reignited my devotion for literature.
There were two experiences that were the catalyst for my lifelong love for reading.
The first experience, though simple, provided me with an epiphany. I discovered that the more I read, the more my life began to change. Not only was I thinking in ways that I had never thought before, but interaction that I had with others began altering as well.
Because I knew more information than I had before, my naivete diminished slowly. As a result, experiences that I would have blindly walked into were prevented, thanks to the knowledge I gained through reading. I noticed that those situations and people who attempted to take advantage of me backed away.
Due to this, I began to expand my viewpoint. I observed others being manipulated simply because they did not have the knowledge or wisdom at the time. This inspired me to assess even more knowledge in order to protect myself as well as others. I gained discernment when it came to ideas being presented to me. It felt as if I were meeting the same person wearing different bodies, because I had already met him/her in a book.
As the pages turned, so did the chapters in my maturity. Books helped me with almost every aspect of my life. I learned to be more forgiving, to see another person's viewpoint and to see connections in subjects I would have never associated with one another. As I read, I could feel my brain physically moving. At certain times, I felt as if I was going in circles seeing the synchronicity in all that I was absorbing. This first experience molded me into who I am today.
The second experience occurred when I was working at one of the library branches. In the basement, I browsed some of the most fascinating books I had ever seen. They were better than the collection for the general public to browse through. However, there was a policy that stated that if a book had not been checked out for two or three years, it was deleted from the system.
With this policy in mind, I also came across books speaking about the trends in libraries. These books discussed libraries being burned in wars, libraries downsizing and data rot. They reiterated that in the past, books were considered a display of wealth.
With all of this information being presented, I became more urgent in my reading. On one hand, I felt that I was "saving" books from being sent off and on the other hand, I was gathering books in order to accrue "ancient wealth". WHAT IF questions began to come to me. What if everything digital vanishes or is cut off from certain demographics and we can only use books for information? What if schooling only becomes available for the elite as it was in the past and books become a form of wealth again? What if do to war or some other societal plague, we are not able to have access to information that would be vital to us? WHAT IF? As a result, I began to view reading not as a form of being mentally wealthy but also as an act of preparation.
When you feed your mind, you will always remain full and satisfied. It will open doors and create opportunities seemingly out of thin air. With every turn of the page, you develop in every way.