We’ve all had that one friend who everyone called ‘a bookworm’ or at least we know someone who our parents called a bookworm. And of course, there are people who your parents call smart (in honor of their exam scores) but you’ve realized them to be just ‘a bookworm’.
It’s been a topic of interest for me for a long time. When people notice someone who reads a lot, they label them as either a bookworm or a Wiseman. What distinguishes between the two? But of course, in this blog, I’ll not be talking about what people think of another person, instead, we’ll be seeing, objectively, what makes one a wise person? And when is a person not wise, but a worm?
We all know almost intuitively the answer to these questions. And yet, we either fail to even ponder these questions, or we fail to use the insight from them in our lives.
We’ve come across people like this. One who reads a book similar to ‘Built to Serve’ or listens to a podcast called ‘Greatness Guide’, but fails to respect & serve the old members of his/her own family. One who has read a book similar to ‘Atomic Habits’ (or Power of Habits) and yet fails consistently to install any new good habit and remove his/her bad(compulsive) habits. One who has read a book called ‘The Alchemist’ but has failed to pursue his/her dreams. One who reads a book called ‘The War of Art’ and yet fails to even remember the last time they defeated their resistance to make art. We’ve also come across one who has read a book called ‘Courage is Calling’ but still fails to make the leap, in other words, he fails to be courageous enough to stand for himself.
A person who reads a lot of books, but does nothing concerning what he has read can be referred to as what we all call ‘a bookworm’. [ It’s sad that most students of Gen-Z are in fact, bookworms, whether they realize it or not.]
And the irony is, it is these kinds of people who talk ill of books, especially non-fiction, and even specifically, self-help books. They would have the right to speak of books if at all they had tried implementing what the books have offered in their own life.
Books are a tool that can help us understand reality. However, bookworms don’t see it that way, they probably think what they read is entirely different from reality. Forget about understanding reality, they aren’t able to connect what they’re reading to their life.
The Wise, however, is quite the opposite. All he reads is quickly turned into wisdom. And hence it is in his every cell and action. Of course, when I say reads, I not only refer to reading books, but I refer to all forms of consumption. Podcasts & lectures he listens to, videos & even the movies ( with great values in them) he watches, everything, everything that he consumes, he reflects on to turn them into wisdom. [Which is also the equation I present in my book too for the wisdom petal, Knowledge + Reflections = Wisdom ].
Of course, it is not a new philosophy, it has been part of Jnana Yoga for ages. It is referred to as SHRAVANA, MANANA, NIDHIDDHYASANA. Shravana is the consumption as I mentioned earlier. Manana is the contemplation or reflection. Nidhiddhyasana is the meditative & final stage that leads to enlightenment. However, it’s not to say that these must be in sequence only, they can be and must be practiced parallelly for the best growth in terms of awareness.
And also, it’s not possible to just consume knowledge without reflecting on it.
The more the power of knowledge you have, the more the power of reflection you require!From my re-flect-citation notes
[Observing your thoughts, i.e, self-reflection becomes very important as your brain thinks more and more. And more complex problems.]
Containing the power of knowledge is not an easy task. It’s very hard and risky.From my re-flect-citation notes
No wonder the bookworms do not act on what they’ve read because they’ve actually not learned/realized anything, he has just read through. Without reflection, it’s not learning, because it won’t stay.
However, the Wise becomes the wise because he knows & will manage to balance and contain the power of knowledge.
So here’s the question underlying the core of this blog, Are you wise or a worm? And by the way, if you’re not a reader, you may not be a book worm, but you have all the chances of being just a worm. : )
If you haven’t yet, you can choose what you want to be, from now on. Just ponder about what you’ve consumed and recheck whether you’ve lived up to it.
Now go back to the top of the blog and start reflecting on it.
Sanath Kumar Naibhi