Reading and Running
|July 11, 2011||Posted by brucepoinsette under Musings|
Reading and running are similar in the sense that both are only so motivating when you simply do them for fun. Sure, there are many people that do these activities for leisure but they have much more power when done with a purpose.
The idea of running to get in shape, especially when you’ve barely jogged before, can be exhausting, if not demoralizing. However, when you’re panting along the sidewalks or pushing up the hills with the thought that you will be that much stronger during the 4th quarter or the last game at the park, then it takes on greater meaning. That extra endurance is what gives you the advantage over the people who aren’t out running, in the weight room lifting, on the court doing shooting drills, etc. It may not seem worth it as you’re soaked in sweat, out of breath and no one can see you, but the reward comes when you have the legs to lock down your opponent and then come down the court and hit the game winning jumper with as much energy as you had in warm-ups.
The same goes for reading. Long after your body breaks down you will still have a mind that is constantly competing with everyone around you. The more you read, the more you learn how to analyze and acquire knowledge. Those that have the knowledge take advantage of those that don’t. Look no further than the foreclosure crisis. Lenders took advantage of customers with documentation and fine print they knew these people wouldn’t take the time to read and would protect them in a court of law, no matter how slimy the deal was. There is nothing moral about asking for 400 percent interest yet the law allowed it and consequently, the housing bubble burst due to this greed. One way to protect ourselves against the sharks is to acquire as much knowledge as possible by reading everything and using the capital we gain from our education to hire the best legal muscle we can, if not become lawyers ourselves.
There’s an old saying that goes, “If you want to hide something from a black person put it in a book.” While certainly ignorant, the statement does allude to the fact that knowledge is like a scavenger hunt with bits and pieces scattered throughout books, publications and all forms of expression. The most mundane writing can contain explosive information if we pay close attention. One thing my father has taught me is that whenever possible, pick up other community’s newspapers such as the Asian Reporter or the Jewish Review. If you want to learn about what’s going on with other people read their publications. You can learn from everything and take the lessons into your own community to build on. This added knowledge will give you the upper hand whether you’re in a debate, writing, performing, etc. because it’s knowledge that your opponents won’t have.
When you’re reading while others are watching television or goofing off, you are just like the athlete who is still in the gym long after practice ended. Once the lights are on you, you want to be as prepared as you can be because the consequences of losing might be more than hurting your pride; they could be losing your house or your freedom.