The Greatest Crime
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The Greatest Crime

The Greatest Crime

Although we are part of the animal kingdom, we occupy a unique position in life. For we are not only creations but creators. And we are wonderful creators. That is, we have created wonders such as the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China, Greece’s Acropolis, Peru’s Machu Picchu, the Angkor Wat Buddhist temples in Cambodia, the temples and Pagodas of Bagan, Myanmar; Hagia Sophia (“Church of the Holy Wisdom”) in Istanbul, Turkey; the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa in the United Arab Emirates; the elegant Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Some of these marvels are ancient and are crumbling. Eventually, all will fade away. But perhaps, the most enduring wonder and the greatest treasure of all is the world of books. Books are the golden key that unlocks the wisdom of the ages, sages, and mages. Or, in more down-to-earth language, “You’re the same today as you’ll be in five years except for the people you meet and the books you read.” (Charlie “Tremendous” Jones)

During our time off, there are many ways we can spend time, such as by taking a walk, playing chess or painting, but “Of all the diversions of life, there is none so proper to fill up its empty spaces as the reading of useful and entertaining authors.” (Joseph Addison, 1672~1719, British essayist, poet, and statesman)

When one recognizes the value of books, it is easy to understand why we would be horrified by the many book burnings that were carried out throughout history. Just to give three examples, in 213 B.C. Emperor Qin Shi Huang ordered the burning of philosophy and history books; in roughly 640, the infamous destruction of the Library of Alexandria took place. And more recently, in 1992, the National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina was firebombed and destroyed by Serbian nationalists. More than 1.5 million books, including 4,000 rare books, 478 bound manuscripts, and 100 years of Bosnian newspapers and journals were lost.

Yet, perhaps the greatest crime of all is to have free access to all the world’s great books and not read them.

SOURCE: Personal Development

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