IMPACT OF LITERATURE ON OUR LIVES The word literature means literally ‘letters’, it is on account of this that learned men are referred to as men of letters. Reading of literature is important for us, for it gives valuable insights to various facets of life. It inculcates in us the power of reasoning, as Francis Bacon said, “Read not to contradict and confute nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider. The literary works of great authors have profoundly affected us since times immemorial. The Vedas, The Ramayana, Gita, Bible and the Koran are all great literary works of noble minds, which have spread the light of wisdom since ages. While the Ramayana gives insight to human relationship, on how to treat elders, friends and colleagues. The Gita idolizes Karma (duty) that is the purpose of our lives. These provide strength and inspiration to us, in time of a dilemma.
They are indeed masterpieces of the art that unfold the truth of life and death, making us reverent, yet fearless. Besides this the classics of William Shakespeare, Rabindra Nath Tagore and Munshi Premchand have bequeathed to us, a wealth of knowledge on such aspects as friendship, virtues, honesty and life itself. It provides valuable insight into the good things of life and made us aware of the negative aspects . Thus enabling us to differentiate between good and bad, virtue and evil.
It makes us more humane and virtuous. Unfortunately the youth of today, does not read literature except that from textbooks. This is due to the overpowering influence of other media, like television, cinema and the Internet of late. To that extend, he is unable to reap the fruits of wisdom, for nothing can substitute it. Besides developing our personality and a value system, it helps us in thinking and acting logically.
No matter what problems we face, we can derive strength and direction from the thoughts and actions of great sages . None of the above media touch our life so profoundly as it does. It is therefore, without any hesitation we can say, that our lives are profoundly affected by reading literature. This is so for the inspiring thoughts of learned men broaden our vision ,making us worldly- wise, for Lord Tennyson rightly said,” When knowledge comes, wisdom lingers. ”