People are different. There's no escaping/dodging/evading that fact. I find it kind of puzzling when people try and pretend that "Hey, we're all just the same."
Um, sorry. We're not. When I hear someone say they don't see color I always have to restrain myself from calling them out. Of course you do! You're just not comfortable with the fact that you see it! But confronting someone with a truth that they really don't want to own is near impossible. It's been my experience that there are some truths that a person has to come to in their own time.
I'm not saying I don't nudge – I do. Sometimes my nudges turn into actual pushes. Today though, I'm discussing some of the more gentle ways to lead people to and through sticky truths in a relatively pain free manner. How? Educating through books.
I will tell anyone and everyone I can get to stand still long enough that I adore reading. Books are addictive for me; through books I've lived thousands of years in the past and future. I've been different ages and genders. I've died and been resurrected. I've even lived in places that have never existed outside the imagination of some terrifically creative mind.
You know what the best thing is about all of that? It's an experience that everyone can share – all they need to do is pick up a book. Reading a well-written book can literally transport a person and let them live life as someone else for a brief moment.
I am by no means saying that by simply reading a book that a person can understand all of the complex human experiences that another person lives. What I am saying is that
books can open a door, allowing a glimpse into something previously unrealized. Quite often, all it takes is a glimpse to know that we are more alike than different in how we love, hurt, and learn.
We are blessed to live in a time when so many different options are available to readers. There are books written by authors of every race, creed and orientation imaginable and these books are available for every genre and age group. You just have to look around. Ari's blog is a terrific place to start but it's by no means the only place to find books that can help bridge the gulf. If you are reading this then you have at your disposal one of the greatest tools of all time: the Internet. Do some searches, be experimental, read some excerpts.
What you discover may just surprise you.
Kathi Wallace is the author of Assiniboin Girl, a Young Adult book released by Drollerie Press and available from Amazon. She has two more books that will be released shortly. Kathi can found most days on her blog or on Twitter as Kathi430.
Thank you so much for this guest post Kathi! I too scoff at the notion that people don't see color. We aren't there yet and even so, seeing color can be a good thing. I think all readers love books for the doors they open. What do you think?
*I will be out of town July 24-August 1st with not computer access. I have some good posts scheduled to run while I'm gone (hopefully they will post!), so be sure to check back here :) I look forward to reading your comments and emails upon my return.