Reading & Learning

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

8 August 2019

Ever think you knew a thing or two about some specific topic innately? Like you had some sort of magical intuition? Some people think they’re great gamblers, employees, developers, or caretakers. They pride themselves on being able to do what they do better than anyone else. But at what cost?

I’ve been on a television hiatus since March of this year. You read that right – it’s been five months since I’ve watched an adult television program. Why you may ask? I’ve taken up reading in the one- to two-hour window I get to myself before bed. I’m a full-time working mom with two wonderful offspring. I also have a dozen fish, a Great Dane, a Boston Terrier/Chihuahua mix, seven chickens, a 1900 square foot home, and three acres of property. I’m the only adult in my household. I used to think I was an amazing household manager, but after some time and research I’ll admit it … I’m mediocre at best.

The Good Thing About Being Mediocre

Accepting that I’m middle-of-the-road when it comes to being knowledgeable on all the topics I’m required to know about on any given day leaves a huge area open for learning. Warren Buffett and Bill Gates agree. There’s always room to learn more. And learning more requires reading.

Reading has saved my life in many ways: It’s taught me how to be a better parent, how to find my internal power, how to be compassionate in hard situations, how to help others, and how differing perspectives have merit. I’ve also read stories – fictional and non-fictional – that have mirrored situations in my life. They forced me to see things I didn’t want to see and brought to light events that I’d been able to normalize (despite how abnormal they were).

I’m not sure I’ll ever give in to the draw of a television again. When I need pure entertainment, that’s when fictional books come in. I can read a funny, scary, heart-wrenching, or science-fiction book if I’m in the mood. But I can also read about ways to better my mental or financial life. Why would I need a TV? What are television programs for? To help us numb our brains after a long task-filled day? I’d rather get lost in a book. I’d rather learn something I’d never learned before. And I’d rather share that knowledge with all the important people in my life.

Who’s with me? Drop that remote and pick up a book!

Your brain and your friends will thank you!