the more you know

Quite frequently I think about why I have a blog. Sometimes I love it and I feel like I have so much to share. But other times I wonder what the purpose really is. Or why people care. Am I providing any added insight, or at least entertainment? Will this ever lead to someone paying me to just sit around all day post photos on Instagram?? #ad

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My conclusion a few weeks ago was that my blog posts are basically me brain-wrestling as I write. I start with a thought I’ve been mulling about, and by the end I usually draw some conclusion for myself. So yay, free mental healthcare!

Current thought: I love reading.

I just finished the book It’s Kind of a Funny Story. It’s not a true story, and it wasn’t earth-shatteringly informative about depression, but I felt like it helped me understand a little more what it’s like for someone going through those types of emotions. It helped me gain more empathy.

Empathy has simultaneously become my favorite word and life goal at the same time.

I have always loved the “walk a mile in someone’s shoes” idea. When I was young, and more immature to the conflicts in our world, I used to think that quote was all it would take to solve most of our wars and crimes. I still sort of think that, but the realist in me knows it will never actually happen. But then my brain reminds me of the starfish story. You know, the one where the guy can’t save them all, but he focuses on big difference he made for the ones he does save.

Anyway, I feel like I have this empathy bucket, and the more I read the more filled it gets. And I love it and it makes me happy and I want everyone to experience how great it feels to be empathetic towards others. Which means that I never just want to read things for myself. Because if I can feel this empathy, than maybe sharing will help someone else feel it too.

And more happy people feeling more empathy can solve all our wars and crime, right?

I also want to share because I know I didn’t always feel this way about books. (Hi, I used to love Dan Brown novels.) But I guess slowly I added in other things, started reading different genres. And I feel it’s like this amazing thing I found that I had been missing for years. I kind of wonder if my world view changed what I like to read, or if reading changed my world view (new blog post idea, haha).

Every time I think of books that really kicked off my love of reading for empathy, I feel like I there are so many out there I haven’t gotten to that could help me even more. And it’s not just books. News articles, other blogs, op-eds. Even listening to other people’s conversations or online comments interest me. (Although lets be truthful, they can also frustrate me pretty good too.)

Next on my list, thanks to the best bookclub I’ve ever been in, a book about introverts. I was kind of hesitant that this would be some sort of self-help book, but I’m also pretty interested to see if I fit into introvert status at all. Or really what introvert status encompasses. A better understanding of introverts, here I come!

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