Courtesy Dunia Magazine

As I have grown older, traveled to different parts of the world and interacted with various people, I have realized that some of the words of wisdom that I heard from my parents and teachers as I was growing up have turned out to be quite true; although I must admit they had sometimes seemed ‘irrelevant’, somewhat ‘senseless’ and downright ridiculous back in the day. Several years later, after countless ‘ah ha’ moments, I must now agree with the African saying: “What the old man sees sitting down, the young man will never see standing up”.

As I continue to dance to the tune of life, I am struck by the fact that in societies that are very different from the one I grew up in Cameroon, living conditions as opposite as the color black is to white, most of those words of caution have made all the difference for me and many others.

Regardless of culture, race, gender, social standing, nationality, there are basic threads that connect humanity (like a parents love for their child, a person's need to be loved, the longing for justice, etc) and in all that equation, also exists 'basic truths that transcend cultures'. Here are 7 of them:

1. He who reads, never grows old

Reading opens up the mind to endless possibilities and feeds the soul. Whether it’s newspapers, magazines, romance novels, thrillers, blogs, personal development books, academic material, etc the importance of reading can never be underscored enough.

There’s no answer that cannot be found in books, no experience we can’t live through reading. In remote areas where books are a rarity, parents and grandparents mold the minds of the younger generation by telling captivating tales and stories, usually by the fireside on warm nights.

According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), “reading is the single most important skill necessary for a happy, productive and successful life. A child that is an excellent reader is a confident child, has a high level of self esteem and is able to easily make the transition from learning to read to reading to learn.continue reading

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