According to the late Dean Vernon Wormer, fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life. Wormer may have been an asshole, but he was right about that.

I have some good news and some bad news. If you’re fat and drunk there’s nothing I can do for you. On the other hand, if you’re stupid I can help. That’s right – I can fix stupid.

Read. That’s it. You can’t be stupid if you’re a reader. It’s impossible. If you’re not a reader your intellect will wither, your critical thinking skills will gather rust, your world view will calcify, and your ability to hold an intelligent conversation will vanish.

I’m not talking about reading under duress. This would include e-mails and other reading that you’re forced to do at work if you want to keep your job or get a promotion. This would also include all the reading you have to do in school if you want to pass and graduate.

If you’re not reading every day of your life something is wrong. School and your job may have sucked all the joy out of reading. That’s understandable. I wish the work of John Milton had never been published.

The point is, you don’t need to read Milton. Read anything you want. Read like you did when you were six years old and sitting on the back porch with your favorite book on a warm July morning that promised to last forever.

The percentage of high school graduates that never read another book after they leave school is alarming. The percentage of college graduates that never read another book after they graduate is terrifying. It doesn’t bode well for the future.

If you read every day your mind will improve. You’ll feel better. You’ll be better. You’ll do better. Try it. It’s not like I’m asking you to eat beets or asparagus.

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