I had a long conversation today with a very close uncle, he's one of the most knowledgeable persons I've ever met. He learned to read and write on his own, while working and raising a family.
Right now he's in his 70s but the topics he shares are amazingly interesting, starting from Greek mythology, wars, and ending up with urban legends.
Perhaps his wisdom is the result of many years of experience and living, but I couldn't say. So tonight I asked him about his stories, where they come from? how did you get so good at telling them? how can you remember so many things?
His answers were short and concise, most of the stories were taken from other people, some others are life stories where he was involved, and some others are taken from books. But at the end he told me something that I can't leave aside:
"No matter how long you live, the world is big enough to leave you abandoned if you don't cope with it, read as many books as you can. Because there's something you can always rely when all your senses start failing, your memory. Sometimes it can trick you, but with a little of practice you can train that little bastard...".
That's something that always has intrigued me, I know a lot of people who reads because they have to, or because they don't know what else to do. Books are the best source of information in world (and digital books count as books), I can't understand how so many people can avoid history, stories, articles and tales just because they prefer to watch it on TV or when a movie is released. It's a waste of potential, human beings should know they environment and what's happened in the world before us, we have to learn history, science, literature, etc.
As the great Steve Jobs said once "Stay foolish, stay hungry".