Reading and Writing for Personal Growth

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  • 0:01 Who Are You?
  • 1:12 How Can Reading Expand…
  • 2:58 How Can Writing Expand…
  • 4:33 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Katie Surber

Katie has a Master's degree in English and has taught college level classes for ten years.

In this lesson, we will discuss how reading and writing can expand our world views by allowing us to see things from other perspectives and challenge our own viewpoints.

Who Are You?

Who are you? This may seem like an easy question to answer, but when you try, it may be a bit more challenging. It is natural for us to answer with our gender, race, career, family, or hobbies. However, all of this is really just the beginning of answering who you are. Underneath all of this lies our values and beliefs, our principles and importance or worth. This is what leads to our worldview and our perspectives. Much of this is shaped by where we live, who we are friends with, what our parents have taught us, and our own experiences. If we only focus on these things that are around us, it becomes difficult to challenge them or to expand our worldviews.

Well, if you are unable to travel to new places, leave your family, or experience a different culture, there is still a way for you to learn and expand these beliefs and values. How? It is rather simple: read a book and connect these new discoveries to your own writing. In this lesson, we will explore how reading and writing can challenge and change your worldviews. Through reading and writing, you are able to not just learn more about your own values and point of view, but also see how these relate to other individuals and cultures.

How Can Reading Expand My World View?

There are currently 196 countries, over seven billion people, and about 2,000 different languages in our world. Each of these people have their own beliefs, and each of these countries have their own culture, pattern of language, knowledge, experiences, religion and beliefs. Our world is truly a diverse place. It is probably unlikely that you will visit every country or meet someone from each of these cultures.

When an author writes a book, he or she is representing not just his or her beliefs but the culture that has influenced him or her. Our worldview and perspective can change when we read and learn about life in these countries and how the world may be different to the people who live in them.

First, you may learn about a different time in history. Through reading, you can experience other countries' development, government, and even civil wars. In addition, you can also see how the world has changed and is still changing. Second, you are introduced to new belief systems. You are able to learn how other parts of the world view each other, what religion is followed, and what is accepted or not accepted in society.

Finally, you may be introduced to new interpretations. One event may be seen differently in each part of the world. By reading, you are able to learn these different interpretations and how they are important to each other. Learning about different interpretations makes it possible for you to challenge your own beliefs or balance them with others.

By expanding your worldview, you are also challenging your perspective. Once you learn about another person's perspective, you can then start to understand the culture more. Your point of view could change about a race, gender, sexuality, country, or event just by learning how someone else interprets this event.

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