We are not readers

I have about decided the main reason we go round and round arguing about “politics” is because no one is reading. Instead, we are watching entertainment that pretends to be news which arouses our feelings and unleashes our tongues but nothing more.

By this point, I think we have proven that we can certainly be informed and refuse to be educated, seek knowledge and be void of wisdom and by all accounts be enlightened but walk in darkness regurgitating talking points and catch phrases, moral outrage and even quoting the Bible.

I keep asking myself if we should just refuse to engage in someone’s commentary that is clearly void of any and all attempts to read or contemplate real thinkers and writers who have spent thousands of hours wrestling with truth, love, life, politics, philosophy, economy, theology and knowing themselves.

I am being quite serious.

Truthfully…I am not that smart but by knowing this, I have pushed myself to search for truth and to read people who are way above my head with hopes that I could understand just a sliver of what they are saying. It has not been easy and more often than not I walk away feeling like an idiot. Maybe, I am a glutton punishment. Yet by even being willing to be beaten by my own self-contempt, I have always received some kernel of truth from these oaks of wisdom that by some miracle makes it way into me and slowly starts to take root in my own thinking process.

Overtime, I have seen these seeds grow and push me to think differently, or at least be willing to look at life, people and issues from a different perspective. I am not saying I think correctly but now, more than ever, I look at things with an understanding at some level of my ignorance, arrogance, hubris and hypocrisy, and this perspective changes how I talk.

I am not going to lie, I think our obsession with politics has absolutely nothing to do with morality, concern for our country or its people or even love of Jesus. Rather, it has everything to do with our refusal to look inside our hearts and address our own traumas, fear, anxieties, depression, sadness, loneliness and disappointment. I have witnessed this first hand in my own relationships and community, and it has been heart breaking to say the least.

Yes- I do think if we were better readers, then we’d know how ridiculous we sound when we cry out in moral outrage but our actual lives express complete compliance and full participation in a system that uses and abuses, and reduces human beings to nothing more than commodities. Who among us consumers can throw a stone at anyone else when our consumer lifestyles look absolutely no different than those we drag to Jesus to be judged.

I don’t know. 🤷🏼‍♀️Perhaps, just being well read would force us to not only have different conversations, but help us to stop talking so damn much and encourage us to dig into the hard and lifelong work of loving our neighbor as ourselves, and fighting for their rights (just as much as our own) to be treated fairly, equitably and with honor and respect.

And just for the record, it is a little rich to be so upset about what’s happening in a library when you have never set foot in one or read any real book in a long time. 🫢

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”
Oscar Wilde

“Classic′ – a book which people praise and don’t read.”
Mark Twain

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.”
James Baldwin

“Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.
Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”
William Faulkner

“I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly – they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.
Aldous Huxley

“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”
Anne Lamott

“We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel… is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become.”
Ursula K. LeGuin

“Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.”
Henry David Thoreau

“It would take me years of reading, thought, and experience to learn again that in this world limits are not only inescapable but indispensable.”
Wendell Berry

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