By Emma Kaden
The United States was founded on powerful ideas: liberty, justice, and freedom for all. The future of America depends on the creation of even more powerful ideas, and there’s one source of ideas that will never run dry: books.
Both fiction and non-fiction books provide a wealth of information and inspiration, and can even influence the way we live our lives. Characters, stories, anecdotes—these are things we absorb from books and other media and carry with us throughout our daily lives.
In an article from the Foundation for Economic Education, James Walpole discusses the importance of remembering stories and incorporating them into our life and livelihood:
“What are the stories you can tell by heart? They are the ones you’ll likely live closest to,” he writes. “Watch and rewatch, read and reread those stories that you know you want to imitate. Do it until you can remember some lines that mean something to you, or until you have at least one character you identify with—that you can carry with you as an ideal.”
In fact, this is about more than simply finding stories you connect to. An article by Illumine highlights how a link to emotions and past life experiences can make information much easier to absorb. Coincidentally, these are driving forces in stories—we connect to the characters through our shared emotions and similar life experiences.
Additionally, reading books, no matter the genre, will increase your vocabulary and expand your worldly knowledge. Non-fiction, of course, will do that in a much more literal manner, but fiction does it non-linearly. By reading the stories of fictional characters, we learn about interpersonal connections and interactions, as well as finding personality traits we can aspire to develop.
An article by Isaac M. Morehouse details how reading books will help cultivate your personal power. This is absolutely crucial if you desire to reshape the United States back into a place where everyone is really and truly free.
“If you want to be stronger, more powerful, and the driving force in your own life; if you want not to be tossed by every wind, irritated by every opinion, persuaded by every protest, losing yourself in the presence of dynamic people, read more books.
The more concepts, metaphors, and ideas you fill yourself with, the broader your conceptual and verbal language, the better you know yourself and navigate a world populated with the selves of others.”
Go to your local library or bookstore, or perhaps even to that shelf full of books you’ve been meaning to read but never had the time for. Devote your time to ideas, devote your time to yourself, and most importantly, devote your time to freedom.