Unlock Your Potential: The Lifelong Journey of Reading

If we want to talk about the topic of “reading and life”, we generally need to solve three questions. The first question is why reading, the second question is what to read, and the third question is how to read.

The first question is why reading. If you say you are a person who loves reading, this question does not exist. He himself knows from reading why he reads, he tastes the sweetness of reading, and this problem no longer exists. He won’t ask himself why I want to study, he doesn’t ask such questions. If you just talk about why you should read theoretically, if a person doesn’t like reading, you may not be able to make him read or fall in love with reading if you tell him a lot of these reasons. So I think reading is a It’s something you experience yourself. It’s not like you just listen to some great principles and then go study.

I can say that I am a book lover and have read books all my life. In fact, when I think back, I fell in love with reading when I was very young, around elementary school. In fact, the young mind is full of curiosity and is very interested in the world. Therefore, an inconspicuous book or a very ordinary book may change the mind of a young mind. A spark ignites.

I remember that when I was in middle school, I often went to the reading room to read. There were 11 quotations from Gorky posted on the wall of the reading room. One of them said: “I pounce on books, just like a hungry man pounces on bread.” Same as above.” I felt at the time that his words perfectly expressed my feelings about the book at that time. Finally, I can say that I have always been a person who loves reading from middle school to college.
Looking back on the past, I think there is actually a kind of reading called adolescent reading, which is when you are a teenager, when you are fifteen or sixteen years old, you have a fanatical hobby for books. This kind of reading, I call it adolescent reading.

Because this kind of reading is very similar to falling in love, it has the nature of falling in love, that is, falling in love with books. What are the characteristics of love? There are two characteristics. The first is simplicity, with no utilitarian considerations at all. At that time, there was no utilitarian consideration in reading, just love; the second is privacy, such a characteristic. I think that if a person falls in love with reading in adolescence, he may not be able to change it for the rest of his life, and it may become a lifelong habit.

What benefits does reading make me feel? Why am I so obsessed with reading and why am I so persistent in reading? In fact, I don’t need to persist. It’s not that I mean to persist. I feel that reading has become a necessity in life. If I don’t study, I feel that I can’t live my life. This day is empty. Reading has become a part of my life. A need, no doubt a need.

I personally understand the benefits of reading. The first point is that reading is enriching and enriches your heart. In fact, human beings have created a lot of spiritual wealth over thousands of years. These spiritual wealth mainly exist in the form of books, so I think reading is particularly profitable. A person who loves reading will feel that the wealth created by mankind belongs to you. . There was a philosopher in ancient Rome named Seneca. He said something that I particularly agree with. He said that truth is my wealth. As long as there is truth in the world, all truths found by people at home and abroad in ancient and modern times are my wealth. , I can turn these truths, truth, goodness and beauty in books into my own wealth. The way to turn them into my treasure is to read them.

If I hadn’t developed the habit of reading since I was a child, these books would be there and stored there, but I wouldn’t know. I’d never go in and see the many treasures inside. My whole life would have passed by without reading it. , What a loss! And it’s very sad that you don’t know that you have suffered such a big loss, so reading can enrich people, because reading can give us a broad world. In fact, when each of us lives in this world, in terms of time and Space is very limited. In terms of time, tens of years or a hundred years, this is a very small moment in human history. The same is true in terms of space. The range you can go is very limited, so if we don’t study, for other times If you don’t know what happens inside or what happens in other dimensions, your world is actually very narrow. Reading can break this restriction, which is the best way.

Another point is that books are actually a person’s most reliable friends. The French philosopher Montaigne said it very well. He said that a person has three kinds of beautiful relationships. The first is a close friend, and the second is a lovely woman. , of course he is a man, he is more lustful, right, but he said that these two kinds of interactions are beyond his control, and he often has to rely on others, such as good friends. It is possible that you cannot find good friends. In fact, I think he In his whole life, he had the most intimate friend, but that friend died relatively early, so he grieved his whole life, and never found such a good friend again. In addition, regarding lovely women, he said that as I get older and older, lovely women will look down on me less and less, so this is something that I cannot control, but there is one kind of interaction that I can control, and that is books.

In the ocean of books, you can find many close friends and many great souls who resonate with you. He said that if you go to them, they will not reject you. This is true for him and for me. It is also the greatest comfort. Because I think reading can make people noble, and people should be noble spiritually. When I was the director of Pingshan Library, several of us experts discussed the concept of this library together. I came up with two sentences, which are “opening up the wisdom of life and inheriting the nobility of spirit.” When discussing the ideas I proposed When this concept was introduced, some experts said that the word “noble” is very unfamiliar to people nowadays and they are not used to it. Is it acceptable? I said that it is precisely because people are unfamiliar with it now that we need to make people familiar with it. People should be spiritually noble.

The third benefit of reading is that it makes people excellent. In fact, what I just talked about, whether it is noble or enriched, mainly refers to the excellence of the human soul. That is an excellent performance, but what I am talking about now is making people excellent. It means making you excellent in your career.

I think a condition for a person to be excellent in his career is that he is full of curiosity and a person who is always learning. He has to learn all his life. Those things learned in school are only a foundation. What is the most important thing that a person should cultivate in school education? I think it is the ability of self-study, the ability to enjoy learning and learn independently. I call it the ability to learn independently under the guidance of interest. You have the ability to know where your interests lie, and then arrange your studies according to your interests and give yourself a reading list. If you have it, you will benefit from it for the rest of your life, so I said that the biggest gain during my years at Peking University was to become an unrepentant lifelong learner. I think this is my biggest gain.

In fact, everyone is like this. If you want to move forward in your career and ideals, you must always learn by yourself. The most important ability of a person is the ability of self-education. You can educate yourself by yourself. This ability is the most important. I think it is easier for a person who has developed the habit of reading to have such ability. This is what I mean by reading that makes people excellent.

Because reading makes people enriched, noble, and excellent, this will lead to a better mental quality, and the result is that it can make people happy. Because as a person, happiness is a high-level, spiritual level. With good spiritual quality, you can enjoy high-level happiness, so reading makes people happy. And I think, in fact, through these, people will have a very good mentality. A good mentality can nourish the heart, and reading can nourish the heart. This is how I feel. My heart is very peaceful, and I will not be tempted by all kinds of temptations in society. The society is always in turmoil, and I will not do it. Some people say, Teacher Zhou, why are you so determined? I say because I know what good things are, and I have been enjoying these good things, so I don’t care about other things. If a person has a good attitude, his health will also be good. In fact, I think a good attitude is the most important thing to maintain health, so I say that reading can also maintain health. You see many great scholars, they all live long lives.

For me, reading and writing is the most important way to maintain health. People often ask me, Teacher Zhou, what are your tips for maintaining health? I think the most important thing about health care is to have a good attitude. Do what you like to do, and you won’t think about how old you are. I feel that I am full of energy and energy, and I don’t feel old at all. Why should we care about age? So I later said: “Age is a rumor” and I didn’t believe it.

Reading can not only nourish the mind and body, but I think it can also nourish the face. In fact, a person’s appearance comes from the heart. Your mentality will be reflected in your appearance. A very important component of this appearance is your temperament. You see many old scholars, including Mr. Yang Jiang, who was 105 years old before her death, but if you come into contact with her, you still think she is beautiful. Therefore, she is really full of poetry and calligraphy. This is true at all.

I would also like to add that reading can also provide for old age. People say that raising children will provide for old age. I don’t mean that. I think a person’s family, your children, etc. are actually influenced by you. If you are a person who loves reading and has a fulfilling spiritual life, then under your influence, your children will be able to do the same. If you don’t like reading yourself and force your children to read, this is often passive.

Reading is so good, it makes people enriched, noble, excellent, and happy, so you don’t need to ask me, and you don’t need to explain much, you will naturally continue reading. The key is that you have to taste it yourself and develop this habit. .

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