Junot on Reading, Reconstructing, Reconstituting

by stephanietsaikarlik

“How do we get anyone to read in a culture where there is no space for contemplation? If full-grown adults can’t muster the time to sit still for two hours, how are the greatest market sectors of these corporations going to be able to resist the urge to check their Twitter every five minutes, to scroll down Tumblr all day long? The thing is is that there are trillions of dollars trying to capture young people’s imaginary and move them away from any contemplative life, from any life of deliberation, from any human rhythm. And books, novels, poetry, essays, sculpture, dance, this is from a much more human rhythm. And it’s a literacy that you have to fight to preserve because the whole country’s trying to disrupt that literacy. The whole culture’s trying to say that there’s no time, that you’re living in a sped up world. So just even beyond the fact that one comes from a Latino background, we’re already at a baseline that doesn’t encourage people to sit still and read, to just take time, to deliberate and to contemplate. I think that we need time to deliberate and contemplate to feel human. I don’t think you can reconstruct and reconstitute yourself after every day without that time. Part of the reason most of our souls feel so heavy and so frantic is because we don’t get the deliberation and the contemplation that would allow us to reconstitute ourselves after a day of living in a society that only encourages you to compete, create hierarchies and accumulate. “