Hi dear friends!
On this Thursday I come to you with a discussion topic inspired by something I heard on the radio this last Sunday.
Does reading make you a better person?
While I was eating breakfast last Sunday someone on the radio was talking about empathy . He cited several studies focusing on profiling empathetic persons and one of the main characteristics shared by empathetic people was reading!
It seems that reading books makes you empathize with others fellings. Of course I won’t speak here of reading non fiction books like mechanics, Computer 101 or baking books ….
Being a “character driven” reader I can easily understand why this would be true.
The books I love are the ones where the author makes me walk into the character’s shoes! I often say that I breathed, slept and ate what the character did. That I WAS he or she.
In other words: I was feeling empathy for him or her.
The best writers can even make me feel empathy for the villain! I will still know what he or she did was wrong but I will understand why and often pity him or commiserate.
Being empathetic is certainly something that could make you a better person as you’ll feel the others feelings and understand his emotions and reactions.
But reading also helps you to grow in other ways!
I love reading books about either taboo topics, either topics I feel prejudiced against, even unconsciously!
For example, reading gay and lesbian romance helped me to understand that it was not “only” sex but it as love too! I knew it on some level but I really realized it thanks to stories like Wolfsong by TJ Klune.
Reading about being muslim in the US after 9/11 also opened my eyes to what these people went through, what they faced and helped alleviate some unconscious fear of “the other” that these awful attacks had awoken in me! I have to thank A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi for opening my eyes!
The same could be said about that burning topic: immigration!
Many rulers devilize the migrants portraying them as a threat.
But when you think of it, who would abandon his country, sometimes leave his beloved ones behind and embark on a very dangerous travel to go in an unknown country without vital reasons? Some of the books that opened my eyes about this topic were: The radius of Us by Marie Marquardt, The Bride Test by Helen Hoang or Prayer to the Sea by Khaled Hosseini.
And I could go on and on about many different topics.
My point here is that yes, I think reading help me becoming a better person. Not only better educated but more accepting and loving.
Now do tell me: do you think reading help you to grow into a better person? What books inspired you or changed you? How?
Thanks for reading!