My Top 10 Reasons why literature matters

By Abul Bashor Ansari.

Memories: Wonderful words can create moments in time that will stay with you forever, and this includes lifelong connections to whatever inspired those thoughts. I am 92 now, but still remember how my dearest mother inspired me to write poetry as a 14-year old. That one poem was the beginning of a beautiful journey.

Treasures: Writing down a simple thought, poem, novel or something else is like creating a precious treasure because it is a part of you. Whether it is for yourself or others to enjoy, whatever comes from your inner-self is priceless, and never forget that. So don’t be afraid to express yourself. My most treasured piece of writing is that very first poem I wrote at the age of 14 in front of my local mosque built by my dearest father, sitting under the shade of a nearby tree.

Connections: Whether you are writing or reading, literature enables us to form human connections, and that is important. The greatest gift writing gave me is that it allowed me to reach out to the masses. This subsequently enabled me to gain the trust of people, enter politics and make a positive difference in their lives.

Knowledge: They say knowledge is power, and for me most of that enlightenment is gained through the written word. I have gained knowledge from reading, but have
also been lucky enough to pass on what I learned. Even today I am still learning. I remember doing another degree from Middlesex University, when I was 75. So learning does not stop. I wish that one day all children have the opportunity to get an education and
that they are given the power that comes with that.

Message: If you want to communicate a certain message, then it is easy to do through the written word. Today the younger generation are so blessed because of all the platforms they have to communicate to others, including through social media and the internet.
If you have a platform to communicate a positive message, do it.

Heroes: Literature has created some of the greatest heroes across the centuries, who have helped shape our world. Everyone has the power to pick up a pen, or in the modern day a computer, and become a hero. I have many literary heroes from around the world, but will mention the late great Tofazzal Hossain Manik Miah, who was a legendary Bengali
journalist, politician and activist.

Inspiration: The written word will inspire you in so many ways, including expanding horizons. Growing up, reading about the world pushed me to come to London in the late 1950s and inspired me to open the door for hundreds of rural Bangladeshis to come to
UK for a better life. That first generation educated their children, who then did the same for their children. So inspiring one person can lead to a chain reaction that helps so many others.

History: Literature helps us to document history, which is important for society. We must not forget where we came from and we can only really move forward by learning lessons from the past. Great thinkers from the past have left us all so many wonderful written
works, which connect, teach and inspire us.

Hope: There is always hope, even through the most challenging situations. Reading about those who overcame struggle, a simple poem or the written word of someone who makes you look at the world in a different way will awaken hope. With hope comes inner power and a better tomorrow.

Timeless: Writing is timeless and will remain long after we are all gone. I have been fortunate enough to publish books and write thousands of poems. I have been blessed to have inspired others and so many have done the same for me. My hope that is in this fast-moving world of technology, future generations will remain connected to the written
word in some way.

  • Abul Bashor Ansari is a London-based writer, poet, thinker and humanitarian.