When you think of Literature you might think it’s all about reading the work of talented writers. But Literature is much more than that.
Consider this. Success in any career is largely determined by one’s ability to understand the point of view of co-workers, customers, and clients and how they inhabit their world. The very same can be said for success in relationships with friends and loved ones.
This is exactly what the best of Literature does. It allows you to enter into another’s persona -- whether they’re young, old, rich, poor, black, or white -- and understand their lives as they do. Literature expands your horizons and enables you to share in others’ hopes, dreams, and sometimes nightmares. In fact, those who’ve studied Adolf Eichmann -- the architect of the horrors perpetrated by Hitler’s regime -- will tell you that his heinous acts were rooted in his inability to see life from another’s perspective.
A Supreme Court Justice once stated that the best preparation for becoming a lawyer was to study poetry because it encourages the widest possible and most creative readings of a text. Substitute “literature” for “poetry” and you have a spot-on description of the power of Literature to help us make sense of life's complex meanings and understand who we are and how we relate to the bigger picture. And, most importantly, to each other.
Literature is so much more than reading great writers. It’s about understanding the human condition.
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