Monday, March 1, 2010

The Importance of Reading and Writing

Students at Pannasastra University of Cambodia practice writing

Reading to students at "BambooShoot School"

The Importance of Reading and Writing
“If you don’t know how to read and write, it doesn’t matter how creative you are,”- Bill Gates.

I am not sure what kind of reader and writer you are, I want to share and explain how reading and writing have affected my life. I read and write everywhere I go. I read and I write when I study. I read and I write when I work (I teach). I read and I write when I stay home. I read and I write when I go on vacations. I read and I write every day. I read because I want to learn what I need. I write because I want to share what I know with others.

Reading is a multidimensional, dynamic process that involves thinking and responding, not only based on fluency and accuracy but also on discovering and understanding the power of language and communication. Reading is about making sense of my life and my world. It is about what I want to read when I need to know something or do something. There is no frigate like a book to take me lands away. I view reading as a pleasurable activity–as a source of entertainment and useful and interesting factual information. I receive great pleasure and satisfaction from burying myself in a Dhamma book. Reading has opened the door and the window for me. Reading can be thought of as preparation for a very important race. To me, reading is the single most important obstacle to academic success.

Writing exercises my mind to express thoughts, ideas and opinions. I admit writing is not easy, but rewarding. I write because I want a place to record my life experience and create something that I could look back on and laugh, cry and reminisce. Writing to me become more and more than a place to record my daily life experience, my thoughts. The papers I wrote become my friend; they were made and willing to accept anything and everything I had to say and feel. It could handle my questions, my sadness, my fear, my opportunity, and my joys. I discovered the beauty of writing – when I can pour myself onto white sheet of emptiness and fill it with emotions, ideas and thoughts and leave them there forever. It became a type of therapy for me for dealing with everything that was going on with my life, my country and humanity as a whole. If I want a reflective message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, I have to keep putting oil in it.

To all youngsters, I challenge and encourage you to read and write everyday. The more you read and the more you write the better you become. You become better reader by reading. You become better writer by writing. No one can do this for you. Reading and writing are your best investments in your future. They will bring you success in everything you want to be, you want to do and you want to have. Reading and writing are just like air. You don’t see but you need it to live in today’s world. Have fun reading and writing.