Friday, April 17, 2009

A Digestive Pen!

We might read hundreds of books, blog posts, magazines, newspapers, etc., yet all this mental nourishment doesn't seem to do us much good. It does good, no doubt, but not as good as the actual quality of what we read. It's like when we eat so much healthy food, but our body only minimally processes and benefits from it. The problem is not the quality of what we put into our body and our mind, it's the quality of how we process it that really matters when it comes to tangible results.

In order to optimally get the benefit of the good food we eat, we need to improve our very own digestive system. This is the middle man that can take the healthy food and give it to our cells and organs. Without him, all this good food could end up in the trash! It works the same way with our much needed "mental foods"!

So who could be the middle man between "reading" and "doing"?! Between dead knowledge and lively action? The middle man could simply be a pen! Would a book be the same for us if, while or after reading it, we take a pen or a keyboard and write down a summary of what we just read? If we do, it will never be the same, it will be much more. The pen is like this all-natural digestive aid that makes us healthy, not by the nutrients that it has to offer, but just by its ability to make what we eat much more digestible. The pen works similarly.

One amazing example of the power of writing what we read is the story of
Dr. Ben Carson. Ben's mother was divorced with two kids. She was black, poor and illiterate, a combination that made life too difficult for any human being at the time. The best job her qualifications made possible was serving in rich peoples' homes. Her son, Ben, didn't seem to have any bright future laying ahead. At school, he was known as the dumbest kid of the class. The most likely path for him was to drop from school, join a gang and may be become a little drug dealer! Now Ben Carson is a renowned neurosurgeon! How did it happen? One day his genius mother made a decision, Ben was to read two books every week, then give her a written report of the books he read! This unpleasant task -that he had to do in order to be able to watch TV, play with his friends and take his pocket money- turned him into the smartest kid in the class, who then ended up in Yale, and from there to the University of Michigan medical school! His illiterate mother was smart enough to understand that if he didn't write a summary of the books he read, his progress would have been way slower and weaker.

Same goes with how much value we get from a book that we read. When we hold the ideas and incarnate them into something that we write with our own hands and minds, the knowledge will be stronger, and its trip from ideas to reality will be faster!

1 comment:

Aelghany said...

I am really touched by the inspirational story of Dr.Ben.

It might be surprising to you to learn that I don't feel like I learnt something after reading it unless I started writing it down on a piece of paper. I am not even talking about summarizing the basic/key points..etc just the mere rewriting of what I read helps me understand it better.

Engaging more senses into the learning process is also known to enhance the quality of learning.

I worked on research for couple of years which I thought was really boring and has minor impact on the engineering community. It was only until I started writing a research paper about it that I started to realize how significant this work
could possibly be. I have to say writing this paper was the part I enjoyed the most of the whole research experience. It really got me to love what I am doing finally!