As a small child I can remember going to the library every week and picking out a stack of books. I could hardly wait until my chores were done so I could dive into my latest selections and let my imagination introduce me to new people and new places.
Have you ever considered the reason why we read? For some it's an escape, a way for us to get away from daily troubles. When we pick up a book we enter another existence where we can do or be anything. Reading can also allow us to communicate experiences, emotions and ideas with others. It's imagining what it's like to be someone else, of putting ourselves in their shoes. Reading can also help us think outside our own personal perceptions about people, places, or life experiences and give us empathy. When we read, we learn more about those around us, those who came before us, and we learn more about ourselves.
God calls us to be empathetic and compassionate toward all of creation. When we begin to understand others and what they experience, we can better embody Christ's love in our service to them. We can become stronger followers of Jesus. The next time you pick up a book, consider how it might help you to empathize with someone else. The compassion you show may change someone's life.
Ask your teen...
What books have inspired you?
What characters have been your examples and your friends?
Challenge your teen...
What character qualities have they encouraged you to put into practice?
What book, that you were required to read, has surprised you with truths you hadn't expected? Continue to be open to reading new authors for insight and enlightenment.
God, you know everything about me. Give me teachable spirit, that I may learn through other's experiences and stories. Amen.