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Get Woke

Image via FilmForum.org

I used to be “that guy” who never had time to read fiction. I was too busy to occupy my mind with unnecessary content. After all, I got stuff done. Learning was a priority. I held action words like driven, disciplined and productive in the highest regard. Why would I spend time reading something that didn’t have immediate application for success?  At some point, and I honestly don’t remember when, I got woke (I think that’s what all the cool kids say these days). I realized I was one dimensional, boring and unimaginative without fiction in my life. Seriously. Can you picture me boring?

Much can be said about the value of reading good stories. However, my aim here is simply to point out the value of fiction. You might not be like me. Maybe all you read is fiction. If that is you, then please read more substantive content. But for those of you who only read nonfiction, consider the value of a good novel.

Don’t think of fiction as helping you think outside of the box. Instead, fiction helps you look at the box differently. Fiction forces you to see the world through someone else’s perspective. For instance, The Godfather causes us to ponder the meaning of friendship when speaking about opposing mafia Dons:

“It was not perhaps the warmest friendship in the world, they would not send each other Christmas gift greetings, but they would not murder each other.” 

Of course, I am using this as a humorous example — I assume none of you would go so far as to murder someone. But the Don’s perspective could cause us to see our friendships in a slightly different way.

Picasso once said, “Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.”  In other words, good art imitates the real world in such a way, it causes us to see underlying realities we may not have otherwise seen or considered. So I suggest giving fiction a chance.  



3 Responses

  1. Ashley says:

    Agree! I mostly read fiction, but I’ve made a point to add more historical and non-fiction books to my reading list. (This coming from someone who already reads about Greek and Egyptian mythology for fun).

  2. Michael Makar says:

    Love it! And heck, even if you don’t learn about yourself or your immediate surroundings from whatever fiction you choose, you learn about the environment that created the artist and the piece itself. Layers!

  3. Ken Gregory says:

    I too was heavy into Greek and Egyptian mythology as a kid. I also loved history class. A bit of fiction found there as well. On the flip side, much truth is found in the fiction we read. Discovering the truths within fiction is an adventure, as much as finding the fiction in our everyday truths.

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