Have you ever wondered, while reading a story, if those characters actually exist? Do you ever imagine creating characters in your mind and giving them life through expression? Literature has the power to captivate our minds and give a free rein to our imagination. But the 21st century is witnessing a change in this age-old art.
Children today are unaccustomed to having literature as an integral part of their lives. A recent study found that just three out of 10 children in the age group of six to 17 read books beyond their syllabus or academia. The same study also found that the parents’ reading habits have a major influence on that of children. This shows that the only factor missing is a gentle nudge that can get their grey cells activated.
Today’s generation believes in terms such as Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) and Too long; Didn’t Read (TL, DR). The average attention span of humans has dwindled nearly 50 per cent over time. From 15 seconds in the year 2000 it has fallen to about 8 seconds in 2015. The rise in digital media has contributed to this. In order to get the creative juices of children rolling, they can be reintroduced to literature.
Having literature in our lives is not just about reading but also about how the activity can help develop key skills. These include vocabulary, critical thinking, cultural appreciation and broadening of our horizons. An article in Gulf News says that modern digital media has misled people into believing that problems can have quick solutions. However, reading literature helps us understand the complexity of human conflict. By re-igniting this passion in today’s children, we will enable a way to help them develop their overall personality and encourage holistic development.
The more you read, the more you can empathize with others. By encouraging a reading culture, we will only imbibe positive values in children such as empathy, understanding, love, care and peace. Children tend to idealize literary characters and aspire to be like them. For instance, children want to be as just and brave as Harry Potter. Literature is a beautiful way to teach kids important values about life and living.
Reading as a pastime is also an avenue of escape for many, an outlet for introspection, self-awareness as well as a discovery of ideas and skills one never knew existed. The simplest joy is in picking up the pen and bringing to life the multitude of emotions that are burst in your mind.
The art also brings about a change in their professional lives. The more you read, the better are your writing skills. With a wide bank of vocabulary, children can learn to better express themselves. Reading habits also get children to think of situations from more than one perspective and thereby put themselves into the shoes of others and not judge anyone. Aren’t these qualities any parent would love to have in their kids?
Reading can give so much joy and happiness in itself, that can be tasted only when children read books. Their minds are open and free. Thus, they can enjoy literature more than adults. Thus, when we grow up we always cherish the literature we enjoyed in our childhood, unconditional and free from thoughts. Some pleasures can never be explained in words. Reading and creativity can only give us such pleasure and joy. If reading is the soaring, then writing are the wings.
Let us create a pathway for children to learn to love literature and through their own writings, no less. Their creativity has not reduced; it only needs to be reignited. If children take up the mantle of writing as a profession or include literature in their career, they will not only be benefiting themselves but also inspire and reach out to others like themselves.