The more you read…
When I was an elementary school child (1991-1997) there was a poster that was in several of the classrooms I was in and other common areas at school.
The poster was an illustration of several people on the steps of a large building that was a library. The poster had this poem:
The more you read,
The more you know.
The more you know,
The smarter you grow.
The smarter you grow,
The stronger your voice,
When speaking your mind
or making your choice.
That poem has stuck with me all these years. I memorized and recited it to my mom when I was in first grade. She was pretty impressed with me.
And the poem is true…or at least it was true for me.
There’s no feeling quite like knowing your stuff or at least being able to be confident that you can pool your resources to figure something out.
And it’s not just reading, but being able to think critically about what you’re reading. There are a lot of people out there who read but don’t know how to process what they’ve read.
I find it funny, but also really cool that in my home The Husband and I regularly talk about the things that we’ve read and often share our thoughts, feelings, disagreements, etc. from what we’ve read.
I challenge you, dear reader, to read. But don’t just read things that make you feel good and confirm your worldview.
Read stuff that challenges the way that you think.
Read stuff that is diametrically opposed to your currently held thoughts or beliefs.
Keep an open mind when you read; understanding differing points of view doesn’t mean that you have to espouse them.
So many people run the other way screaming and crying from ideas that are different. Instead of running away, you should take the time to at least understand the other side and be informed rather than just assuming.
How can you really know and understand why you think/believe the way that you do if you can’t make a passing effort to challenge yourself and develop your worldview?
I would argue that if you only surround yourself with what makes you feel comfortable, you actually don’t fully understand your worldview.
When you step out of your comfort zone, it forces you to think and to know what you know.
Read. Think. Challenge yourself. You’ll be a better person for it.