5 Reasons why reading is not a waste of time.
by Juan Sepúlveda
Have you ever thought about reading a book and instead chosen to work on something else? or Have you ever felt the desire to just lay back on your favorite couch with a book on your hands, but changed your mind after thinking that it would be a waste of time? Think again!
Here are 5 reasons Why reading daily is not a waste of time.
1) Reading Reduces Stress.
We are used to a fast paced lifestyle with many different things trying to get our attention. It is a healthy practice to take a few minutes or hours in a day to relax and read. Doing this can quiet all the noise that we have in our heads and helps us focus better and reduce our level of stress.
Why is it so important that we reduce our level of stress? Because although stress is a mental response to stimulus, it can have a detrimental physiological effect. According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the effects of stress in our body include:
- Sleeping disorders
- social withdrawal
Each one of these physical effects could add other troubles to our already-complicated life.
2) Reading Improves Memory.
Especially when you read right before bed. According to a study conducted by the University of Notre Dame and headed by Psychologist Jessica Payne on March of 2012. Recollection and accuracy were improved when the subjects of the study read or studied right before going to bed in contrast to their counterparts who read at the beginning of their day.
This means that there is a marked benefit derived from spending a little time with a book, just before going to sleep.
Another way in which memory is improved is by acting as stimulating brain activity. Similarly to playing board games or doing crossword puzzles, reading may reduce memory loss due to aging, according to a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine from 2003.
3) Increase your Knowledge.
By reading every day, you also increase your knowledge and consequently become a more engaged conversationalist. Imagine the great benefits that can arise out of spending some time reading and learning new things. Things, which in turn become links which solidify your relationships and make you a more effective contributor to the education of future generations. In fact, whenever you sit down to read someone else's words, it is as if you are having a conversation with them that transcends time and space. You are becoming wise by immersing yourself in the words of those wise men who came before you. Those authors are also the result of previous generations of authors who left a legacy upon which others could continue building. Now it is your turn as a gentleman to take the initiative to benefit from this cross-generational wisdom as you prepare to share your gained wisdom with upcoming generations.
"The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries."
4) Become more creative.
From an artist perspective, I tend to be inspired the most, when I am exposed to new ideas and the creativity of others. Regardless of what your artistic inclination might be, you can derive inspiration when you read about other people and their resourcefulness.
If you are a writer, then you need to consume material before you can produce material. Therefore, it is in your best interest as a creative individual to immerse yourself in books as sources of inspiration. Being careful not to simply imitate, but to explore different variations of your craft and start creating. Becoming aware of the creative expressions of others, might inspire you to create your next work of art; tangible or otherwise.
5) Become a role model.
Not just to the newer generation of Masons who join our Fraternity, but also to the children in our lives. Children are very impressionable in their first few years of life and if we demonstrate a good example, they are likely to follow it. Imagine a child who grows up in a household where reading for an hour every night is a common practice. They are more likely to see this behavior as natural and by consequence more likely to emulate it.
I remember my Mother reading her Bible every night, just before going to sleep. It served as an inspiration to me. I wish that I was as disciplined and dedicated to reading the Holy Scriptures daily, but today I look up to her example and look forward to living a similar life.
I encourage you to seriously consider implementing a daily reading habit, if you haven’t done it already. As you already know, there are many benefits in making reading a part of your daily routine. Therefore, I challenge you to not think about reading a book as a waste of time. Instead, I encourage you to make a sound investment in your mind, body, soul and the future of coming generations, through the power of reading.