34. The Priceless Value Of Reading: Expanding Knowledge And Improving Thought Process

Sound knowledge is the only fuel which can sustain the productive flame of intelligent discussions.

© 2019 Nigerian Patriot


In simple terms, Reading is the action of looking through written or printed material with the aim of decoding a language in order to derive meaning from the text. It is a process that informs understanding and consequently, expands your knowledge base on a subject.

Sadly, the complexity behind the art of reading is grossly underestimated by a majority of us as we engage the process.  Subsequently, the powerful essence of the art is mostly misunderstood and its priceless value lost with the ignorant misapplication of principles which bear the ability to deliver resounding cognitive improvements in any person of diligent character.

Bearing in mind the vast and complex dimension of the subject of reading, this summary blog post is designed to provide peripheral insight and hopefully awaken your interest to embark on a deeper research on the subject.   

For the sake of brevity, simplicity and ease of understanding, this post will highlight major areas that will hopefully convince anyone on the relationship between reading, improving knowledge and the gainful outcome of purposeful reasoning.

The Art Of Reading

Reading is a complex process which is primarily driven by your attitude. It is an art that requires extracting meaning from written or printed words; therefore such materials must be rendered in a language familiar to you. It would make no sense at all reading a book in French, when you have no idea of the language or if you possess a very limited understanding of it.

To aid with the construction of understanding the written or printed content in its entirety as intended by the author, it is also recommended that you keep a dictionary handy. This will enable you to check out the meaning of unfamiliar words. This habit would improve and increase your vocabulary on the long run making the process of reading a fluent, more enjoyable and fulfilling experience.

Reading should be done under circumstances that offer the least distraction on your ability to wholly assimilate the content of the written or printed material. The traditional recommendation for best results had been to read in a quiet environment, however, in our modern world of information deluge and with the proliferation of mobile devices, sometimes we are forced to read on the move. As a result, it may appear plausible to think that an ideal condition for reading can be created by a self conviction on your ability to remain focused on the content within an environment of distraction. Experiments and experience have proven that results obtained from reading in a quiet environment are best.

Improving Knowledge

For the purpose of illustration, common sense implies that if you have not read the story book of ‘Alice in Wonderland’, you will not have in-depth knowledge of her interesting adventures. This logic also applies to the fact that the degree of understanding of the story depends on the attention committed and information assimilated during reading. By the time you read other story books with the same depth of commitment, or indeed materials on any other subject of interest, your level of diverse knowledge will continue to grow.

Therefore it is safe to conclude that the more you read various materials, the more your knowledge base expands in equal measure and the less you read, the less you know; fair and simple! 

Purposeful Reasoning

Reasoning (or thought process) is informed by knowledge. The concept of purposeful (enlightened, intelligent, intellectual, clever, smart, witty) reasoning is the powerful reward behind the art of reading. Anyone who is well read on a subject will definitely be able to make insightful contributions on any discussion regarding that subject. Think about it: what you do not know you are not informed or empowered to speak about.

The resourceful potential of a knowledgeable person is a great asset to self, family and society when dealing with daily concerns of life. Such persons are informed to understand diverse issues; constructively providing realistic advice and proffering enduring solutions. They form the core of any positive change initiative within their sphere of reach and influence. They update their resourceful potential by constantly maintaining a healthy habit of reading.

Closing Remarks

One of the reasons we seem not to find a solution to the myriad of unpleasant sorts confronting our collective effort at resolving our issues of national challenge, rests in the fact that a majority of individual opinions on these challenges are highly uninformed and rather unenlightened. The same logic applies to our collective approach toward policies of governance and issues of group concern on any scale in our noble nation Nigeria.

Hopefully the content of this summary post will furnish an understanding which would provide helpful clues to capacity development requirements that would greatly assist with improving our reasoning ability and thought process.

Always remember that Sound knowledge is the only fuel which can sustain the productive flame of intelligent discussions.

Arise O Compatriots….

© 2019 – Nigerian Patriot.  All Rights reserved

26. Self Education In Nigeria: The Process of ‘DIY’ Learning

Education can be defined as acquiring Knowledge through a process of Learning. The learning process can be done within the walls of a school or outside an academic environment. In both instances, the process can be imparted through an Instructor or directly by the Learner via exposure of self to the relevant learning process concerning the desired skill.  

This summary blog episode is focused on highlighting the process of Self education or ‘Do It Yourself’ (DIY) learning which does not require a dedicated Instructor. Success with Self education is purely based on the motivation of a person to know and understand a subject.

This episode is also designed to encourage an understanding that the ability to learn is an inherent attribute deposited in the DNA of every person from birth. Hopefully this realization would help to change the view point of certain individuals that learning is a formal privilege reserved for those who are fortunate to get the experience in a school environment.

It is important to boldly state that a society of mostly educated persons, would naturally thrive better than a society where the educated are in a minority. This fact is also applicable to wellbeing and development of a nation as highlighted in blog episode 3: ‘Ignorance: the Achilles Heels of National Development’.

Education makes a loud difference between an enlightened mind and the ignorant mind. It is Education that has kept the achievements of the Learned person, light years ahead of achievements of the Unlearned mind.

It is important to realize that education is an essential tool for the survival and meaningful existence of any Human being. Therefore everyone should be encouraged through the process of learning with an understanding that this is the only vehicle to the destination point called Knowledge.

 On a primitive level, learning is a major function of communication, listening, observation and action.

It is a fact that no child is ever really taught the baby walk which is predominantly learned by repeated observation of adults and action from the child. The same applies to early speech.

This fact about early learning applies to all the creations of the earth and may be better appreciated by observing the animal kingdom and the interaction between the adult and infants of the animal world. None of the adult animals ever summoned a training session to teach an offspring any skill of survival, they were learned by a measure of communication, observation, listening and action.

Illustrations abound and can be briefly sighted: the baby goat never got a bleating training session by the Billy goats; the lion cub never got a roaring training session from the adult lions, and the young birds were never tutored on the art of flying. They all engaged in a process of self learning to acquire these skills.     

The principles of learning are slightly different with Human beings, but basically the same. As adults, we rarely subscribe to any dancing school to learn a trending dance move. It’s an ability that comes mostly with observation and action of practice.

Language is also a feature of human learning and the words of a chosen language must be clearly understood either in written or spoken format. It is the understanding of words that conveys the clear meaning of any sentence of a chosen language.

The action of practice is also an essential aspect of Self learning as it helps to engrave the action of the concept helping the person to perfect the art which has been learned. This is the reason the proverbial saying that ‘practice makes perfect’ still finds relevance in the Divine court of Wisdom till date.

A person in the process of Self learning must also realize that it requires time and patience as cited in blog episodes 20 and 21 ‘The Wisdom Of Patience With Processes Of life’.

From the highlights of the paragraphs above, it should be clear that self learning is something within the reach of any serious minded person determined to acquire basic knowledge on most subjects of human existence.

At this juncture, it should be obvious to most of our unemployed citizens in Nigeria who lack the skills to find relevance in any segment of the productive chain due to the lack of formal education that all hope is not lost.

It may be pertinent to also make it clear that there is no system of government that can provide education and jobs for all its citizens. This is a very unrealistic expectation.

Hopefully the highlights of this summary blog episode may open the endless window of the potentials which comes with the ease of self learning and in addition motivate the Will for action on this knowledge.

 In conclusion, if a majority of the citizens of our noble country Nigeria were fundamentally learned in any chosen skill of life, then our drive toward national development would have a more realistic bite. For now, Ignorance is a huge threat on our collective aspiration toward a dream Nigeria.

For our sake and the sake of our coming generations, it is our national and patriotic responsibility to always remember that a stitch in time saves nine.   

Arise O Compatriots…

© 2019 – Nigerian Patriot.  All Rights reserved