Windows to Other Worlds

A good word is like a good tree whose root is firmly fixed and whose top is in the sky-The Koran

Maya Angelou once said, “Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.” How true those words! As avid Marvel comics & Mad magazine fans in our youth, my buddies & I would swap & devour comics which fed our fertile imaginations & sharpened our wits at the same time. This produced (for me) the habit of reading which Barnes & Noble is quite appreciative of, I’m $ure.

Amongst the many books I’ve read, there are characters with whom I identified, the most striking one being John Power (known as ‘Brotherman’) from Roger Mais’ classic caribbean novel, “Brotherman“. This character has remained with me since my teenage years. It resurrects memories of wanting to become a Rastafarian & living a happy & humble life in the tropical surroundings of my island home. More powerfully, the character’s ethic of peace & love & the spiritual nourishment he provided for his despised & chaotic community, exposed me to a way of life beyond the surface of things. Before I knew of Ghandi, Thich Nhat Hanh or M.L King, this fictional Rastafarian protagonist (“Brotherman”) was the most powerful influence on my young mind (outside of friends/family). This illustrates the sheer power of the book & one’s imagination which far surpasses anything the electronic media has to offer. The challenge now is to convince our children of this with over 500 TV channels, video games, Twitter/FB, cell phones, digital cameras, computer games & the Internet to compete against!! (Where’s my belt…..?)



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