You are what you read

You are what you eat.

Remember that old saying? It was the scientist’s reminder to us that the atoms of the food we eat become the atoms from which our bodies are made. (Most of the extra or useless stuff that we eat is stored as fat.) We are what we eat.

The writer/reader/thinker/active participant in the human race provides a corollary: You are what you eat read.

Here, our minds (knowledge, ideas, biases, attitudes, and behaviors) are made from what we feed them, principally through reading.

Think about it. Which of these is you?

  • If you only read textbooks and research articles on a particular subject, say quantum physics or vector calculus, your mind will grow stronger in that area. (But you will have trouble functioning in a society of small talk and Tweets.)
  • If you only read the same newspapers and blogs every day, your attitudes and beliefs will be shaped by the politics and opinions provided therein.
  • If you only read the comics, People Magazine, Twitter feeds, and watch television, your mind will be quite relaxed, and so will you. But if this is all you put into your mind, you will not be an active participant in the human race.
  • If you read comics and newspapers and research articles and Twitter and National Geographic and novel after novel after novel and your favorite blogs plus a few extras every week–you will be leading the pack in the human race.

Exercise your mind. Read more than you eat.  Read some more. Read to your tiny children. Teach them to read before kindergarten. They can do it. Sing ABCs and count with your 2-year old. She can do it. So can he.

We are what we read.


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