Novels promote empathy, or so studies show. I recently read After the Shot Drops which allowed me, a 60-something white woman in Vermont, to explore the world of two black, urban, High School guys who are into basketball! Two best friends deal with a split when one starts attending a local private school and major athletic rival. Misunderstandings, loyalties, and bad choices have long-term consequences for these young men. Through the novel, I came to care about them and their concerns.
Empathy, a major factor in promoting civility, is sorely lacking at the moment, locally AND globally. We can learn from another’s perspective. It is important to disagree, we need to be heard, and we must exercise empathy to understand others. Books can help achieve this goal of civil discourse.
Young adult author, Gayle Foreman, referred to books as “Empathy Delivery Devices” in her new book I Have Lost My Way and I borrowed the phrase. By reading books, lots of books - fiction and non-fiction, for kids and adults, printed and in audio format - I expand my world. ~ Liza
(originally posted 5.17.18)