Reading Fiction Increases Empathy
My bookshelf is a good mix of fiction and business writing, with some sprinkles of philosophy and self-help. But I have come across so many people who look down on fiction, like it was meant for the uneducated or the downtrodden folks.
Especially in the business world, with everyone turning an author these days thanks to Linkedin, fiction reading has been marginalised much. The ‘key takeaways’ are probably not aplenty apparently, but I refuse to believe that. Few definite things fiction reading brings to fore is:
Imagination : You can only build yours when you know beyond what you see and do. Getting into a different world, imagining it in your mind and flowing with a story is what fiction reading does.
Empathy: Your imagination can take you to wild places, but also make you meet people and know of the ones you would never encounter. A homeless person’s life, a widowed lady’s vacuum, a soldiers demons, they can all be experienced when we open up a good fiction book.
Possibilities: What opens up is a world with different perspectives. There are only so many people we can meet in a lifetime, only so many places we can travel. But what we can do is unlimited, and different worlds can aid that.
Crafting a fiction narrative and then converting it into an intriguing enough plot, for the reader to remain immersed throughout, is as good an art as telling our work stories. The green grass, the blue skies, the flowing waters, reveal a part of nature that whenever you look at these elements, you see a different story. Every book also does just that — makes you see and sense things in a different manner.