Are you Well Read?

Well Read: (of a person) knowledgeable and informed as a result of extensive reading. synonyms: knowledgeable, well informed, well versed, erudite, scholarly, literate, educated, cultured, bookish, studious, lettered. (google dictionary)

2017 was a year of great divides. Fellow citizens, neighbors, and even families were pinned against one another, separated into groups based on their political, religious, and social opinions. I’ve read stories of divorces based on whom one spouse voted for and roommates kicking one or the other out solely based upon their opinions. I watched in sadness lifelong, real life friends delete one another from their social media pages and even real life. I’ve watched some groups get louder while others silenced from a fear of being shunned because they have a different opinion. Even if the opinion held would be considered moderate-is there such a thing as middle of the road today? Is it not the foundation of a free society for every man and woman to be able to speak freely and have different views? I ask because I sincerely do not think many respect this basic right. Many take for granted basic rights.

While this schism certainly did not happen overnight, we- yes we, add fuel to the great divide by only reading and consuming information, news, and books that affirm our own views. Our bubble grows and with it we lose compassion, understanding or even the desire to try and understand our fellow human beings, neighbors, and friends. We have lost the ability to listen, free of judgment, and try to understand and hear people. Hear what they need in their lives and desire for their families. After all, I truly believe that we all want the same basic assurances in life; safety, the ability to provide, to be heard, and to live authentically. We would be a better people if we first didn’t think the worst of each other and opened our hearts and minds to them instead.

I have a rather simple suggestion to perhaps ease the cycle of misunderstanding of one another and even make the great gap between us a little less wide. In 2018 be mindful to consume books and information from those points of views you don’t agree with. Read books from democrats, republicans and independents. Read books from different religions and from different types of people from different places. Instead of deleting someone from social media who posted some view you disagree with, start a conversation. See what you do agree on. In 2018 acknowledge that you don’t know everything there is to be known about anything! Realize every day is a opportunity to learn something new and broaden your horizon’s. Everyday you have a new chance to become a better and more compassionate neighbor, sister or friend. First see the good in people and in doing so you will grow.

Being well read is a goal we should all have. But being so requires getting out of our own comfort zones and earnestly wanting to be well rounded and truly well read. This requires stepping out of what we think we know and humbling ourselves. It is in my opinion that you can be a well rounded reader and get differing points of views from both fiction and non. I would love to hear your recommendations of books that you feel I need to read.  I wake up everyday with a desire to know what I don’t and strive to make myself a better citizen and well read gal in 2018.

Leave your recommendations below and Happy New Year! May it be filled with blessings and love for you all!

-Jessica

 

6 thoughts on “Are you Well Read?”

  1. I started doing this last year and I really helps to bridge the gap. I was looking for understanding rather than feeling I was right. I’m way more libertarian so I am on both sides with many things. I watched a documentary series from Vice on You tube about Native people’s to understand my cousins that are 1/2 Lakota Souix. They were constantly protested nw the pipeline in Iowa. I also read more Liberal sources of news and if there is an issue I read both sides before deciding.

  2. I read a lot of the Huffington post or Slate. You should watch those You Tube documentaries by Vice in Native Americans, they are very insightful. As far as books I have a hard time sitting through boring books I agree with, so ones I don’t I can’t handle. I tried to be a political activist and was burned out in under a year. I quit and prayed about where I could do the good and change/open the most minds. The answer was right where I was. I really learned to listen to understand and not to reply.

  3. Here is to expanding our minds reading choices in 2018 I think its a great thing to be open minded. Otherwise we would all be robots. Can’t wait to see where this takes me!

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