I love to read (I have a reading goal of 75 books this year) and my favorite genres are murder mysteries (specifically Victorian era by Anne Perry) and historical fiction (such as Lisa Wingate) and chick lit (love anything by Kristen Hannah).
But I am trying to read more non-fiction too this year in an effort to “broaden my horizon” and exercise different parts of my brain.
Recently I’ve read The Good Neighbor (story of Fred Rogers), Girl, Wash Your Face, Searching for Sunday, and Unbearable Lightness. What did they have in common? They are books about/by people with views I do not completely agree with, yet I found nuggets in all of them that resonated within me. They encouraged me to examine my own beliefs. Most remained the same, but some adjusted here and there. I realized I could still respect other people even if I disagreed. Their story is their story, whether I agree with their choices and beliefs or not. No one gets to take someone else’s story away.
In this day where civil discourse seems to be practically non-existent – it is important to look for the points of common belief instead of focusing on the points of disagreement. We must allow people to think differently than we do, to have “opposing” views – and not vilify them when they do. I know this is easier said than done when discussing controversial issues such as late-term abortion, black lives matter, and religion.
Does this mean I have to like everyone? Absolutely not. There are people that I think are mean, spiteful, and hurtful to our society. I have the freedom to disagree with them and to dislike them – but I don’t have the moral right to be hateful, spiteful, or disrespectful. If they think because I disagree that makes me a “hater”, I’m sorry. I can’t do anything about that. But I can be respectful and look for the common ground (even if they don’t). I can choose not to see them as “evil”.
So, I’ve had enough non-fiction for now, back to murder mysteries and chick lit! I hope you are reading and working those parts of your brain. What’s in your reading stack?