The Power of Stories to Enlarge Our World

If you’ve been around here for even a day or two, you know I can talk books and books all the time. I truly believe reading and engaging in perspectives outside our usual thinking can help change the world. Today, I’m over at SheLoves Magazine sharing some of my journey of reading diversity. Here’s an excerpt, but I hope you’ll head over to SheLoves and join the conversation!

annie-rim-power-of-story3I am a nerd in the very untrendy sense of the word. I don’t wear cool glasses. I know little to nothing about pop culture references. My clothing style is firmly preppy without any funky flair. But I can engage in conversation about a lot of political topics, about some theology, and my favorite: history. As an art history major in college, I learned about the evolution of cultures and societies through their art and literature.

Talking books and ideas lights me up, makes me excited, gives me energy. And so, in today’s culture of divisiveness and other-ing, I turn to books to help me understand.

In her inspiring TED talk, “The Danger of a Single Story,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie reminds me of the power of storytelling, of the necessity of listening to the stories of other cultures and experiences. Ideally, this happens face-to-face over a cup of something warm or a shared meal. Realistically, that’s hard to make happen naturally.

I’m unlikely to find someone to be my new culturally-diverse instant best friend, so I have made an intentional point to read more books by people of different nationalities, different backgrounds and identities than my own.

Of course, I had read diverse authors before, working through Paulo Coelho’s magical worlds and my year of books from Iran and Afghanistan. But I knew I needed to be more intentional, to pick books not only because they looked interesting but because they stretched me and grew my perspective. Head over to SheLoves to read the rest!

What are some of your life-changing books? How do you expand your reading horizons?

BackyardThis post is Day 26 of the Write 31 Days Challenge. I’m spending the month of October writing about the Backyard Justice. You can find the entire series over at my Backyard Justice page.

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