Health is being healthy (probably wealthy nowadays). It is running miles and not feeling you can’t do it anymore. It is eating foods and not falling ill. For most of us, if our health is to be made healthy, then we better do something for it, whether it is consulting a doctor or opening the search box of Google. But, what the hell is literature doing along with the word healthy in this article’s title?
There are, of course, many more official parameters that tell us what exactly being healthy is. Being healthy is essential these days, and should be. We are humans and we need to take care of ourselves. From dawn to dusk we are supposed to do things that make us and keep us healthy. Physical, social, and mental health should be considered the parameters of being healthy. But do we take care of all that?
You are sick, if you don’t know how to think. If your human body has a little disorder in its digestive tract, you feel your body to not be clean… you definitely want to throw things out and consider it as waste. What about the waste in your mind and soul? You can’t eat a tablet that cleans your mind and soul. If you have a mind but you don’t think, you definitely are not healthy at all. Literature creates a linkage between mind and body, like a tablet. To sanitise your soul, no alcohol-based sanitiser will work, but literature can become that sanitiser.
The curiosity in you increases when you read a book. In my experience, somewhere along reading a book you know that it is going to heal you at some point. There is a reason why people say what they say, and many scholars have told us to read as much as we can. This is to help us know how many lies there are in the world and how many truths. Along with the well-known definition of literature, I will add: “Literature is any written or spoken form of art that makes you think… even the offensive.” If you don’t know what is bad and how to make it good, you cannot be healthy.
The world itself is a literature which we fail to read. From reading something to questioning it, from accepting something to letting go, literature (or anything that makes you think) is a way of understanding, healing, and keeping us healthy, in both body and soul.
The writer is a 10th standard student and a native of Anantnag. [email protected]