As we finalized the April Book Voyage list, we had to pause and be grateful for the power of books. In addition to helping us “see” the beautiful landscapes around the entire world, they help us see the beauty in people around the world.
The opposite is also true. Many of us have already read books from our reading challenges that opened our eyes to suffering and hate in a variety of time periods and countries. It’s hard to acknowledge that humans can be as evil as history has shown.
In almost every case, the root cause has been trying to oppress or get rid of people that were “different” than the perpetrators in some way.
Instead of dehumanizing others, books show that people who may be different than us are equally human and worthy of respect.
As we enter the northern region of Asia this month, our hearts will be with those Asian Americans being dehumanized and then verbally or physically assaulted. Whether it’s name calling, being spit at as Angela’s friend has been, or more violent attacks, it all breaks our hearts.
Each time you share that you’ve shed a tear over a character or learned something new about a culture or period in history, we’re reminded of the that there are still MORE open-hearted, kind and caring readers out there than there are hate-mongers.
While simply reading isn’t enough to combat the bad, it’s a priceless first step that gives us a deeper understanding of what others may be feeling. It makes us slower to judge and quicker to speak up.
While we’ve been reading to virtually travel and escape Covid, we hope the lessons we take away from the books go even deeper and last a lifetime.