My native land is called “INDIA”, the land of ‘Unity in Diversity’. India has been known in the world for its Incredible culture, diversity, food and spices, art and architecture (Taj Mahal, of course, one of the Wonders of the World), spirituality, yoga, the list is endless. India is a diverse country not just in its customs and traditions but also by its geography and relief. I sometimes feel the diversity of the land is not man-made but natural. There is a place called Jaisalmer where the rainfall is scarce and at the time, a place called Mawsynram receives as much rain as Jaisalmer would receive in 10 years. The diversity is in its soil. The beauty of India and its land delights all. But, when we go deep inside, we see some bitter truth and harsh realities of the lives here. Some follies prevalent in society and various customs of the land have developed gradually with time, come out of nowhere. Especially when we ask for reasons, people stop us by saying lines like, “This is how it is”, “You will have to follow things this way, you can’t change”, “We should not question in so and so matters” and truly speaking I haven’t imbibed this culture because I have read, we had a culture of debate and questioning which I feel is, vanished. We didn’t know when we changed from a questioning society to a listening one. And I sometimes feel that this could have been the reason for the evils that our society started practising and not just our but any society in the world, lack of reading because I am a firm believer and many of you would agree that reading open the horizons of your brain and you no longer accept things the way they have been happening because now you want to know the reason behind them. You want to know their history, the context and narratives of the time when they occurred because now you know that everything in this world has a past and a reason for its existence.
Not consuming much of your time and coming to the crux of the article, this blog will look into some books and reading them will help you develop a sense of Questioning. I would give you an analogy to explain, how reading helps us build questions? or boost our confidence in asking our doubts. We all must have experienced that the prior reading of the topic to be discussed in the class, enhances our chance of asking questions to the teacher and our confidence in the question we have asked is also high. Why? Because we know we have read about relatable things.
Why is it that books help us ask more of questions?
The answer is very simple because we have read things and the probability that the other person can fool us, decreases. Reading will give you confidence that any other thing in the world can’t. If you don’t believe me, you can try it for yourself, just read a single book and I am damn sure you will know something more than you knew before (you must be thinking that’s obvious!, see you know reading will widen your mind’s thinking power. So, pick a book for yourself right now My Friend!)
I have a collection of some well-searched books that may help you in knowing the world better and also make you think a little and when you will think a little you will ask a little and then you will know a little and this forms a cycle which is never-ending. This is how the circle of knowledge works. So not taking much of your time, HERE IS THE LIST!
A non-fiction genre, by Yuval Noah Harari, will open some of the unknown facts and unheard truths of science. The book will persuade you to think about some of the biggest questions in the history of mankind and you may even go into a different fascinating zone after reading the book. The book is thrilling, full of new revelations and some thought-provoking realities of the history of mankind. The excerpt from the book will surely excite you to reach a level of reading it. Here it goes:
The name sound very small but you should not underestimate the content which can surely raise a lot of questions in your head. The book was published in 1949 and is a novel by George Orwell. The book will surely make you a citizen who will ask more of questions from the present day governments because this book places the light on how police states can snatch some of your dreams and goals and how people have to fight with the state for their individuality. The book is a dystopian novel, that is, it talks of the situation ahead of its times and so it is called 1984. The book will surely make you think about the latest issues the world is talking about ‘privacy’ and ‘moral policing’. The story in the book is about a place where a person is not even allowed to have any rebellious thoughts against the totalitarian government of that place and it is considered the biggest of crimes. You will realise how governments can become uncontrollable when in power. This little excerpt will give you a glance of the storyline and the entire book will take you in a thoughtful zone.
The book by Malcolm Gladwell, a renowned journalist and writer, will let you understand the strategy behind making an idea spread among the masses. The book talks about how things change, how certain ideas are bought in and spread first slowly and once bought in the mainstream spread altogether. This can be seen in the world of marketing today where any product, ideas or concepts are disseminated to attract people towards them. The book analyses well on how human psychology works and will make you wonder about how people are influenced and how certain trends or fashions can be spread just like an epidemic. This will surely help you in not falling for anything too deeply. The book has been a life-changing one and would surely make you look into society and its mentality deeper. The knowledge one can gain from the book can be applied to ones real life.
A few lines from the book will surely make you ponder about the sociology and psychology of the world around:
The books by Viktor Frankl is based on his personal experiences with other millions of prisoners who suffered in the Nazi concentration camps. The book will give you the inside stories by a survivor himself. Frankl, in the book, has placed a superb message that the camp prisoner became the persons they chose to, not because of the influence of the camp alone but because of their inner decisions to be so, because of the hopes they carried in their hearts. Through the book, he places another crucial message that Man’s deepest desire is to search for meaning and purpose. The book will not just narrate the story of the life of prisoners in the death camp, which bring tears to eyes but will also deal with the psychology part as the author tells in the book that the prisoners, later investigated after the first world war were acquainted with “barbed wire sickness”. The book does not just bring back the memories of the hard times of the death camps but in the end, will put some light on the purpose of life. Some lines from the book will surely enlighten you and you will want to read the whole book for yourself.
We will move to our last book by the same author that we talked of, in the first, Yuval Noah Harari. The first was the history of mankind and this one surely as the name says is the future of mankind that the author has placed in an absolutely clear and shocking way. This book will make you think in a way, you would have never thought before. I really wonder the author’s scope of thinking, it really enthrals me. The book will take you towards deeper questions about our identity, intelligence, technology, data and what not. This book will totally change the way you see the world. As the book is described “Sapiens showed us where we came from and homo Deus will show us where we’re going”. The book will spellbind you by the questions it raises and will leave for you to decide. To arouse your curiosity about the book, a question from the book will surely let you make your decision of reading this enchanting book, “Democracy and the free market will both collapse once Google and Facebook know us better than we know ourselves, and authority will shift from individual humans to networked algorithms”. Even if you feel you should give a thought further of reading this one or not, here is an excerpt for you.
Hope the books we discussed above soon find some place in your shelf and unravel some questions of your mind and widen your power to question more. Always remember, the more you question the more you will know.
Which book did you like the most? Which one would soon find a place on your shelf? Do share your thoughts about the books discussed, I would love to hear from you.