Published by Rachelle Disbennett-Lee
Friday, May 17, 2002
Read Only what You Agree with
One of the worse things that can happen to a person is
to become uninformed. The good news is that in today's environment,
where information is so widely available, we have many opportunities
to keep ourselves informed. Reading is an excellent way
to keep up on what is happening. The danger is we can become
selective and read only what we agree with. Forming this
habit keeps us isolated and half-informed.
One of the best things I have done, to keep myself informed,
is to join a book club. A good benefit of the book club
is the opportunity to read books I do not like or agree
with. By reading books I would never have read or even known
existed, I obtain a different point of view. I might not
agree with the viewpoint or like the book, but I am now
aware that both exist.
We cannot form an educated opinion in a vacuum. If we do
not understand what the other side thinks then we don't
have the opportunity to have all the facts. With a one-sided
perspective, our opinions can easily become narrow-minded.
Knowing what the other side is thinking and doing does not
have to change our minds; it in fact can help us become
more committed to our own position on the issue. We can
better understand why we believe the way we do when we understand
why others believe the way they do.
Expand your horizons and occasionally read something you
do not agree with. By doing this, you will keep informed
and have more facts and opinions not just your own. If you
want to expand even further, find someone who does not agree
with you and have a discussion with them. Ask them many
questions and learn as much as you can. Again, this is not
about converting to the other person's opinion. It is simply
a way to broaden your perspective.
What have you read lately that you didn't agree with?
Reading what you do not
agree with = Keeping informed
"Free speech is not to be regulated like diseased
cattle and impure butter. The audience . . . that hissed
yesterday may applaud today, even for the same performance."
William O. Douglas
"Do not seek the truth, only cease to cherish your
opinions." Zen Proverb