How many people can be ready to accept or believe that books save human lives? Or how many are prepared to buy the truth that books keep humanity alive? The believers may put the example of the holocaust survivor Helen Fagin’s letter. The letter describes how studying books can help humans survive even in the most crucial and painful situations.
But, in a modern tech-savvy world, humans have less time to concentrate on the printed paper pages that contain every bit of human thoughts and feelings. However, they don’t deny the value of those pages. But making them the driving force of living is much more figurative in the present context.
It is indeed hard to assume that people still read books aggressively in a fast-moving world. Nevertheless, possession of books uncovers some genuine sentiment. And there always remains a feeling of respect for those who consider the paper pages their most trustworthy friends.
But a considerable portion of the human world is busy finding a shortcut to achieve comfort and pleasure. The said portion considers mundane wealth as the lifeline behind surviving. For most people, saving a life means protecting the human body made of flesh and blood. And there remain very few people who think and believe that the world always gets driven by human thought, i.e., wisdom.
They believe that books are the best destination to safeguard wisdom, knowledge, or learning. And keeping this sagacity intact means preserving humanity. According to these believers, every human action or reaction in shaping the civilization and rescuing it from crucial moments has been taking place through that insight. That means reading books can enlighten a person about the key to surviving and thereby saves human lives.
In her letter, Helen Fagin says, “There are times when dreams sustain us more than facts.” She even writes, “To read a book and surrender to a story is to keep our very humanity alive.”
Helen Fagin was only twenty-one-year-old when her family gets imprisoned in the notorious Warsaw Ghetto in Poland by the Nazis during the World War II. However, Helen and her sisters managed to flee. But they lost their parents in the Nazi’s Holocaust.
With an indomitable desire to survive, she managed to arrive in America. But the major obstacle she faced was her unfamiliarity with the English language. She couldn’t speak even a single word in English. But her extensive study led her to become a possessor of a Ph.D.
Her life history reveals that she studied and taught literature for two decades. The gruesome experience in the early twenties never forced her to lose faith in human wisdom. Instead, it led her to read books and learn the lessons responsible for shaping humanity and made them accessible for others through her teachings.
Like common thinking, she never felt the urge to possess a revenge mentality even after experiencing the darkest moments in life. She witnessed how the Nazis brutally killed humans and thereby tried to destroy the faith in humanity.
But it was Helen’s extensive studying of books that never let her sense of humanity die. Moreover, possessing humane insight through books always forced her to remain an actual human being and not a beast out of a revenge mentality. Furthermore, her immense effort made the successful implementation of the famous Holocaust Memorial in Washington, D.C. The memorial consistently reminds the world of the value of human lives. It shows how much it is necessary to own a humane insight.
Now, the concept of establishing the Holocaust Memorial emerged possible because of Helen’s heartfelt passion for humans. And she earned this passion from books that compelled her never to forget the lesson of humanity. In a word, her contribution to society shows that books save human lives.
It is undeniable that reading books are essential for shaping and inspiring life. The power of reading transcends the limitation of thinking and helps perceive things more humanely. It unlocks the door of a world full of hope and possibilities.
Thinking of a world without books means imagining a society devoid of learning. No doubt, it is next to impossible. Because learning is not a process of acquiring knowledge only, it is the lifeblood of human civilization. And books can help survive that lifeline by scattering sagacity and sharpness in human thinking. That means the bottom line is books save human lives.