When my daughter was two, she enjoyed turning her colorful books, naming the pictures using her own vocabulary. Her grandmother will cook up stories while they both turned pages of a picture dictionary. I played a synthesizer in school and gave it to my daughter when she was four. When I saw her pressing the keys in random ways, I invited a music teacher friend to teach her. Within a month, she played some tunes. She didn’t know how to write and never learnt the musical notations but could play any song. She is fifteen now and is pursuing Hindustani classical music but still plays without notation support.
My home overflows with books and I have an unflinching habit of reading at night. I like to read three or four books at a time – a combination of an autobiography, a nonfiction on some interesting issue, a novel and some management/self help book. I will read about music ragas for a few minutes and switch over to data analytics. I will read a ‘Nine Lives’ or a ‘Pandemonium’ in the evening and read only two or three Urdu / Hindi couplets by Besheer Badr or Kunwar Bechain at night. The continuous switching of my mind helps me focus & remember things. I share them more often as I find them more interesting due to variety.
My daughter has seen me juggling between books which she never practiced. On her fifteenth birthday, we had a revealing discussion yesterday. She told me that she enjoys listening about so many stories/incidents from me and has learned more from them than anything else.
While writing essays or research papers, snippets of information collected in her mind helps her think and write. We discuss ideas, people, anecdotes, problems and solutions but randomly.
Kids process the things that they hear/listen in their own ways but it certainly impacts their thinking skills.
Since I share my reading experience with my daughter, she shares hers with a spirit of vengeance. I have assimilated lot of knowledge about Bill Bryson, Syrian refugee crisis, domestic violence act and musical compositions from her.
There is no teaching in random reading but a lot of learning.
Can we replicate the same at our workplace?
Can a random reading culture be cultivated organically in an organisation?