Thursday, February 13, 2014

Countdown to 30: 30 days, 30 Lessons (Day 24 - Read Everything)

Words are amazing. I love them. You can use them to communicate so much. They can hurt, uplift, soothe, instruct, transform. The words that are chosen in any given medium confer more than just meaning, they confer tone, location, history. Each word carries with it connotation, denotation, and context. What a word means is what we all understand it to mean based on the information we have at any given moment. The more information we have, the deeper the meaning.

By reading everything, you understand how malleable words are and, therefore, how malleable concepts are.

As I've stated before, systems are everywhere. Those systems are largely communicated through what is written down. The more one reads, the more one understands the various systems at play. I use that in my work as a theater artist and as a person: when we choose to tell one story, what are the stories we aren't telling? By devouring multiple perspectives from various sources, it's possible to obtain clarity about how all of our various identities intersect.

Reading is practical.

I am someone who reads instruction manuals and fine print. I will admit that there are several EULA's that I've never glanced at, but I, more often than not, read anything put in front of me. I read contracts, and cereal boxes, and old magazines at the doctor's,and anything that has words on it and is still in front of my eyeballs. And I am amazed at the number of times it's given me an edge to read information hidden in plain sight. 

Reading is also just plain fun.

A good book is worth its weight in gold. It transports us to a far off place while simultaneously revealing our inner most thoughts. Good books reveal something about our lives, fictional or not. They allow us to compound our collective experience. They stretch the bounds of what is possible. Books are powerful and we become even more powerful with the knowledge.

Read often, read everything.


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