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How can thinking about your favorite books help? Thoughts from the best-selling author of The Fault in Our Stars.
Empathy doesn't cone naturally to us. Like, I have a three year old child and he is terrible at empathizing with my needs. Um, you know, we learn empathy through story and we learn it through people coming into our lives and saying "Stop for a second and think about what it is like to be someone else in this situation. Stop and try to imagine that person's life for a moment." And I think that stories are a really important part of that for me. I mean, that's, it was often through novels that I was able to live the lives of other people. I mean, the difficulty of being a human is I'm only going to see life out of my eyes, right. Like I'm never going to have a mind other than my own, I'm never gonna understand what it's like to be anyone else really in the same way that I understand what it's like to be myself. But the magic of reading books is that they allow you for a while to live inside of someone else, they allow you to become Holden Caulfield or Anne of Green Gables or whoever it is and through that, that's when you begin to understand that "Wow, other people are really people and I need to, you know, respect them and treat them as, you know, as I would want them to treat me."