I am making a conscious effort to read more. I don’t think I’ve disliked reading, but I haven’t made it any kind of priority.
As I read more about writing practices, reading practices make frequent appearances.
Over the last handful of years, business books have been on my list, and my bookshelf. Many of them still need to be completed! But the idea of fiction has been laying dormant until recently. I’ve been processing input from authors, noting influence and imagination can be valuable threads to pull from fiction. I’ve completed one book recently, but am looking for some additional titles!
Did you want to grab a coffee, or tea, or water? Could we sit and chat for just a few moments?
In this age of social media, there are many voices and viewpoints out there. Some more one-sided than others, some louder than others. Are there any conversations? I mean, real, civil, productive conversations?
Everyone has a viewpoint and opinion, as that’s the nature of being human in this world. We all have experiences that we have come through, and more that we will face, and those shape our reactions, our perspectives, our opinions. But often there is something missing from the picture.
So what’s the conversation starter?
Start with empathy instead of the soapbox. Begin with consideration of the other person’s perspective, even if we don’t agree. Empathy doesn’t require changing our viewpoint or opinion. It simply requires we pause for a moment, to look at the person, or hear the voice across from us in the light of humanness.
We are all broken in some way or another. We have scars, memories, and baggage that we bring to every conversation or interaction. Often these are much bigger for some than for others. Sometimes they are hidden deep beneath layers and years of bandages: sarcasm, exercise, even smiles. Sometimes they are more visible, recent and still raw.
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”
Perhaps at this point you’re asking what this has to do with creativity, since that’s what I try to draw out in this space. I think that creativity takes conscious effort, regardless of talent or ability. I think that empathy requires conscious effort as well, regardless of how kind we believe we already are.
The other interesting connection here, is the word “perspective.” I’ll leave you to look at the various definitions, but even the description that relates to art could be connected to human interactions.
“An object or person that is in perspective has the correct size and position in comparison with other things in the picture.“