As a matter of routine, Jagat read six newspapers every morning. He started his day by reading them. He would read them while he went through his morning ablutions. He would continue to read as he had his morning cup of tea and later as he had his breakfast.
Once, his old uncle visited him. He observed Jagat’s morning routine for a couple of days. He asked Jagat one evening, “Jagat, can you mark five items of good news in the newspaper today?” Jagat looked amused and said, “Of course uncle! I’ll do so just now.” So Jagat reached out for the pile of news papers and started scanning the headlines. Here is what he found –
“In Prison for life.”
“Judgement jolts Minister.”
“1992 Kanpur riots: 11 burnt to death.”
“Mohali ODI: Cops once bitten, twice shy.”
“Pakistan Police questions 15 over suicide blasts.”
“500,000 flee California Fires.”
Jagat picked up another news paper. This is what he found:
“Woman stabs 2 cops.”
“Minister, wife pay for murder.”
“Colonel faces court martial.”
“Protesting students Lathi – charged.”
Jagat looked over the reading glasses perched on his nose and saw his uncle looking intently at him. He scanned through the headlines of the other newspapers on his table, but he could not find five headlines having good news. He looked at his uncle and said, “I think today has been a bad day. Let me get yesterday’s papers.” Uncle stopped him as he rose to get them, “It’s no use Jagat. Every day’s papers are like that. Today is no exception. The media highlights only that which is sensational. You see if the header says, “Dog bites man,” no one would bother to read the news; but if the header says, “Man bites dog,” almost everyone would read it.
“Tell me where are yesterdays newspapers?” asked uncle. “They’re in the waste paper basket,” replied Jagat, “See, this is what it is. Today’s news paper is the waste paper of tomorrow. You must surely read the news, for you are a man of the world. But do not allow it to take up your entire morning. Set aside a short span of time for it and be done with it.”
Uncle leaned back into the comfortable recliner and said, “Did you ever read the scriptures, or any books on self improvement?” “No, I never get the time,” said Jagat. “Exactly, you must find time to read that what is good for you. You need food for thought. Read good literature not merely to increase your knowledge. Read it to learn from it and transform yourself. You shall emerge happier and richer.”
This is how we are, we usually read only useless stuff and if we do read anything worthwhile, we read it just to increase our knowledge, not to learn from it and make our lives better!
Think about it! Did you read anything good yesterday? If you did not, please do so today.