Reading is rewarding

AFTER reading the article Journey of lifelong learning by Airil Haimi Mohd Adnan (Star Education, Jan 19) and another by Yap Lian Chin (Star Education, Feb 16), I can't help but add to the subject. I totally agree with both of them. 

It is a sad reality that Malaysians, whether graduates or non-graduates, do not bother to read after “graduating” from school or university.  

This learned person (the graduate) thinks he knows everything and has decided to stop learning. Yet learning is an act of continuous education and has to be present and lifelong. Reading is one of the best ways to gain information and knowledge.  

A survey done by the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) years ago found that only a small percentage of Malaysians read other than school texts. I can't imagine the percentage now if CAP were to carry out a similar survey.  

My family budgets RM200 a month for books, which I know is unimaginable to most Malaysians, who prefer to spend their hard-earned money on beauty products, branded goods, cars, clothes, bags etc. What they get in return is beauty, pride, ego and arrogance, but not brains or virtues, like honesty, sincerity, wisdom and compassion. Worst of all, those who spend on eating unhealthy foods and on cigarettes, are not better off health-wise. 

I am ahead of others in many ways through knowledge gained from reading. Using tonnes of common sense, I put into practice what I learn, to make a better life for my family and friends. In so doing, I am able to guide my two children and help them become well-balanced and have good moral values and compassion, which is currently severely lacking among the younger generation. 

As Yap mentioned, Malaysians tend to waste time in frivolous pursuits. They do not realise that there are better ways to spend time; for example, by helping the community. I am a mother who runs a home-based business cum social worker. 

Many community centres need volunteers badly. Why not help them and at the same time make tremendous non-material gains like developing skills in organisation, project/event-management and communication (verbal and written). Most of all, you will develop the compassion to help a fellow human being. 



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