Habituate Reading to Find Peace of Mind

Habituate Reading to Find Peace of Mind


            On a ten-hour trip between Casablanca and Oujda in the far east of Morocco, one must prepare all means of comfort; foremost of all is booking a first class seat. Then one may only pray to find a friendly companion.

            Compartment number /6/ has six seats; three of them were empty, and three seats were occupied. My fellow passengers were nice. Two of them slept deeply, while the third was busy contemplating a ring in his hand. Later, a Moroccan woman dressed in a brown caftan entered with her eight-year old daughter.


            Soon the girl whispered to her mother who granted her a book and surrendered to sleep. The child flipped the pages of the book, read its words, and contemplated its pictures for an hour and a half. A mother sleep deeply while her daughter reads!! She did not ask her mother for water, candy, chips, a burger, or a Pepsi. She did not annoy her mother asking about arrival time. She never felt bored or irritated in her seat nor did she jump around.


            Would our kids behave like her? I know that parents ponder upon this question. I know that they envy this mother and wish they had such a young reader for a child. I know that they compare between this girl and their children who are indifferent to books and whose mouths would not have stopped demanding more candy.


            An empty sack will never stand upright. Parents complain that their children annoy them during trips and only enjoy eating instead of contemplating nature and enjoying new places. Have they not caused this by filling bags with all kinds of food, drinks, and sweets? Do they ever consider setting mobile libraries in their cars beside the food supplies? If you do not make reading a habit for them, how do you expect them to read?


            You complain of their boisterous behavior at home, that they chase each other, fight over games throwing them to each other, quarreling over TV channels, playing videogames, and fighting over them. Finally, they come to you to settle their fights. TV and video games are fun, but try to include reading among leisure activities. Reading is far more beneficial than leaving your children controlled by screens. If books become their companions, they will be cared for when you are busy. They will be taught things when you might not know how to teach. You shall be blessed with peace of mind.


            You wonder how they could waste their times, and favor sitting alone over the company of a book or a story. How could they dislike books? How could they refuse to see their importance? How could they fail to reach out to books during free times? How could they detest books rather than enjoy reading? I think this is a description of you not only your children. You have only yourselves to blame. I swear, had you been readers, they would have been readers. If books were your companions, your children would have befriended books. Had you done what you demand them to do, they would have complied.


A peacock once swaggered around
His chicks mimicked him all around
Why are you conceited? He does say
You did before, such shall we do today
Do you not know, father, everyone who ever lived,
Their predecessors’ footsteps eventually filled
Our parents raised us in certain way
As such, we, children shall grow up to behave

Dr. Ali Abd Al-Aqader Al-Hammadi

Translated by: Suyouf Arrabi