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Can Changes Cultural Orthodox

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08th-Feb-2020       
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Hasan Al-Mahmud :
A book is the best companion of our life-it laughs and weeps, but never leaves us alone. A good book opens our eyes, it expands and develops our wisdom, and helps to enlighten the soul, which is an important reminder for nowadays.
In this time, people, especially youth are led to fake directions-sometimes ignorance and sometimes extremism-somehow it changes their mindset into a disease. One study has found that the habit of reading books helps people prevent two diseases called Dementia and Alzheimer's-which are related to our memory, language, and critical thinking. The enjoyment that comes from reading a book helps to keep our brain healthy, but it's wrong direction might lead people to a destructive conclusion even.      
A Maulana once said in a religious sermon meeting that there is another earth whose door is in Antarctica and it is controlled by America, Australia, and other powerful countries. If the audience, that time, were aware of science and technology with our recent inventions, they wouldn't believe it. People are thirsty for knowledge which is greatly expanded by reading books. The more we read, the more we will be free from misguidance. Inside the book, there is a treasure trove of unknown information. When we read a book, we can get acquainted with the information contained within-whether it is religious, fiction, nonfiction, scientific, academic.
Actually, people need recreation and it can be earned easily by reading books as this habit increases our power of imagination. We can connect with the whole world through a journey that leads us to jump from one end of the earth to another. New images and narratives create a land of imagination where new inventions begin to grow. This is how Bertrand Russell used to make him happy. Whenever he felt irritated, he would love to sink into a book and forget everything, because he realized that the more that can cause the gloom, the greater the ability to evade the atmosphere. Thus, when people are in an accurate recreation, they won't be led in the wrong direction.  
Once Dr. Zafar Iqbal was asked to talk about the benefits of reading books. He gave an example-if someone watches something on a television which is shown directly, there is no scope of imagination. But, if the same thing is written in a book, the reader has to use the brain to travel to the imagination. Suppose, if it is written about the blue sky in a book, without seeing any picture, the brain usually analyzes it-the imagination of "the blue sky" starts here. The brain does not develop itself if this process is not enabled.  
An extremist wanted to kill Dr. Zafar Iqbal just because he wrote a book in the title, "Bhuter Bachha Solaiman". I agree that it touches the religious sentiment as Solaiman is the name of one of the prophets in Islamic History. But I was surprised to know that the person took the decision of killing the writer without even reading the book. Here is my objection, if he needs to answer Dr. Zafar Iqbal, he has to read the book and reply to him with his logic. This is insane! I believe, a book not only gives information but also asks us different questions and teaches us to think. Why do we need to read a book? Let us know how much a book helps us to be physically and mentally okay.
In 2009, scientists of Sussex University in the United Kingdom tested heart rate and mass tension and observed that certain tasks help to reduce stress. They noticed that reading books for only six minutes reduces stress levels up to 68%, which is much more effective than walking (42%), drinking coffee (54%) or listening to music (61%). Being completely immersed in reading books can greatly reduce the things that make us uncomfortable or increase our stress level. Through a book, we can reach an unknown world within a moment that relieves us of our daily reality, the misery of the society, and also reduces our stress and to let us think positively in all aspects. This is how reading books can make us relaxed to think about life and to take a decision peacefully.
I have found that people who are involved in preaching a religion, they need to have a sound constructive memory whose capacity should be stable. When they give information, they need to be specific, accurate and authentic. Here, reading books can help a lot because when we read a book, it is important to remember the information contained within it. For example, a book-fictional, religious, scientific, historical, political, detective series, or someone's autobiography-we the readers have to remember the name, history, place, novel purpose, plot, storyline-all of these. Otherwise, readers will be driven wrong or won't understand the story and conception. When we try to remember all this information, our brain does a lot of exercises. Also, a book creates new connections to our brain-thereby increases our interest to know, to remember and to deliver accurate information.
Reading books also increases our critical thinking ability. When we read a detective novel or a mysterious story, we try to unravel the mystery before the story ends. This makes our brains faster, and our thinking capacity also increases. This practice helps readers to guess what might happen when we circulate information among the people. The senses develop and we can talk according to the situation and context.
Moreover, reading a book creates a sympathetic mindset; rather not to be violent. Booklovers always have the ability to feel the stress of others, which scientists call "Theory of mind", where happiness is the target. Book lovers have a much more compassionate heart.
However, in terms of preaching religion, we're telling beautiful stories of our prophets, but do we ourselves still have a beautiful heart? Religion teaches us to be peaceful and tolerant. Are we following this path? Let's read to know. Let books shine on us with knowledge and make our life beautiful with various colors-smashing the wall of our ignorance.
The writer was a Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement (TEA) Fellow, Montana State University, USA. He writes on contemporary issues, education, and literature.

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