3 Best Gifts of Fiction
It's been said that reading fiction can help us develop empathy.
When we read fiction, we are transported into a different time and place. Or a different world.
We live in the minds of the characters—witnessing their experiences, feeling their emotions, reading their thoughts. We become immersed in who they are, a life that could be similar to ours, but most times, a life so different.
What we might never experience in our lives, we may learn about in stories.
And when a friend experiences something that we've read about, we can understand it to some extent—never fully, until we experience it ourselves.
Fiction gives us a deeper understanding of events and emotions that we do not experience in our own lives. It helps us become more compassionate and more in tune with what others are going through.
In well-written stories, the author can paint a detailed picture of that world. Right down to facial expressions, voice intonations, body language.
A raised eyebrow. Pursed lips. Twinkle in the eye. Raised voices. A grunt. A lean forward. Or back. A glance.
I love reading those cues. It helped me understand the different human emotions and how they manifest in behavior.
And by reading people's reactions, I became more aware of how my actions affect the people around me. It helped me become more considerate of others.
Wider Perspective of the World
Through fiction, I lived many childhoods. Many varied lives. I lived in a world of magic, of gods and goddesses, of symbols and ciphers, of legal battles, of beliefs and cultures so different from my own.
And everything the characters experienced—love, loss, brokenness, betrayal, thrill, triumph—they've enriched my understanding of the world.
I went inside their minds and saw the world from their perspectives. All morphed into how I see the world today.
And I value that. A wider perspective brings me closer to objective truth—to see the world as it is, without bias and prejudice.