At LeaderShape we believe in the power (and responsibility) of being a lifelong learner. And reading is a particularly meaningful way to expand our knowledge by exposing us to perspectives, ideas, and experiences beyond our current understanding.
National Book Month has inspired us to reflect on what we have learned from our own experiences reading books – and we want to share those lessons with you! Is there anything below that you relate to? What have books taught you?
Mary Kate Kaufman
Books have taught me to think creatively and have provided me a new perspective on the world. They have given me my own personal space where I can wind down and take time for myself. It has taught me so many life lessons and overall how to live a happy life.
I have read many books about something I don’t know about or I have a strong opinion about and have seen it from another side. Books have taught me to look deeper and be more understanding.
What have books taught me? As a lifelong reader, I can’t recall a day that I didn’t make time to read, even if just for 5 minutes. Books have taught me the value of habits and making time each day for what’s important. Books have also taught me that even when you don’t seem to have anything in common with the characters from the outset, you are very likely to relate to them throughout the course of the book. I think of Francie from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn; Liesel from The Book Thief; Mark Watney from The Martian; or Amar from A Place for Us. Their lives in Williamsburg, Nazi Germany, Mars, and California are nothing like mine. Yet I feel forever connected to them through their loves, plights, ideals, and dreams. And isn’t it like that in our real lives? When we can find what we have in common with the people we meet, it’s easier to understand them and perhaps even like them.
Books have and continued to stretch my perspective and worldview. They allow me to simply be part of the stories, history, and in places that in realty would be impossible for me to be part of. Books not only deepen my knowledge around certain topics but also transport me to that world.
I rarely read for pleasure. I read to be a better educator. I love hearing about cutting edge research and theories that help us better understand the college student experience. I do like narratives though where I can hear of someone’s life experience.
How to escape my current reality and come back refreshed and ready to face the day.
That everyone’s lived experiences are different and there is great value in truly listening to the story of another person.
That crying can bring healing.
That laughter is good for the soul.