If you are not reading good literature, you are rotting
By Gabriel Dinda
To be honest, I can’t put this any better. If you are not reading good books, you are rotting. From the head. The rot is inward out. Sooner or later, everyone will experience it. Do you know what happens to a fresh fish if not cooked or preserved properly? I talk of fish because I come from the Lake shores of Homa-bay and I have seen all kinds of fish; dead and alive. When you buy the tasteful Nile Perch and abandon it without any preservation, it soon rots and becomes a nuisance to those around. Sooner or later, you have no choice but to get rid of it.
That’s what happens to us when we don’t read good literature. We rot, only that we rot even faster than the fish. We start from the head and then the whole body. The rot in us become visible faster than that of fish. We stop being sensitive. We become bothersome and inconsiderate. Sooner or later, our friends, family and neighbors have no choice but to get rid of us. Some get rid of us silently. They no longer call us or communicate with us. They just drift away. At that point, they have done to us what we do to the fish when we can’t stand the odor any longer. We become unproductive to a point of being “useless” in our jobs, in our trade or in our neighborhood. We only retain our intrinsic goodness as human beings but technically, we become impotent; incapable of siring any fresh thought around us.
Because of our social standing, or temporal positions, some people can tolerate the rot in us. They can make do with it for the sake of the temporal things that they gain from us. This may make us unable to realize the sad reality that has befallen us.
Sometimes, you may listen to someone reason and wonder how that person manages to survive with so much rot. Why do you switch your TV channels when you see some people showing up for interviews? You can’t stand their ideas, right? It could be that these people have rotted…or you have.
When we read, it is more like a breath of fresh air. We get to know other people better. We get to learn a situation better. We understand history better. With that, our minds are kept fresh and sensitive. We are likely to handle situations in a way, that is sensitive to others. It makes us better. The opposite happens when we don’t read good material. My definition of good material is that which helps us to do good and avoid evil. Every time we read a good book, something happens to us. That “something” manifests in how we live, how we reason and how we act. “That something” is so divine, so personal, that you can hardly explain it to someone who hasn’t experienced it. It forms part of our connection with our Supreme Being. That’s why the revealed word is written in religious books. And that’s why you can’t distinguish reading good material from the divine.
We have a part of us which is only aroused when we read good literature. That part of us invokes the intellect and therefore we become brighter and more knowledgeable. Most people fail to know that in most cases, the only difference between a consultant and them is that the consultant has read more in a specific area or had more experience. That part of us which is only aroused by reading good books is that part that rots fast when deprived of good material.
Are you reading or rotting?
Gabriel Dinda is the Founder of Writers Guild-Kenya. Emailfirstname.lastname@example.org