5 Ways Reading Influences Your Perspective

I speak a lot on this blog about the power of perspective and not being limited in thought. It occurred to me, as I was making my coffee yesterday morning and thinking about a book I needed to finish, that I thought about reading and the deeper role that literacy plays in our lives.

Perspective can be defined as:

“…a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.”

Television is not the only thing that can influence your perspective but so can books. Be careful what you’re feeding your mind. It can empower you or limit you.

#1 You Are What You Read

The saying, “You are what you eat” is used to convey the message that we should be careful what we are putting into our bodies. A stunning new report from the World Health Organization has concluded that there is clear scientific evidence that eating pork leads to cancer and I’m not just saying this because I don’t eat pork. (Even if it is gross and bad for your health). Over-doing the snacks is also not good and can hurt the kidneys and harm weight. Just like we are what we eat, we are also what we read!

What you put into your mind has the power to change you (either for better or for worse). While I love Black History and culture, these are not the only kinds of books that I read. I also read the bible and other books that provide useful information (either for my mind, body, or spirit).

#2. Reading One Type of Book

Do this and you will surely be confined to one form of thought. You can be passionate without being limited. There are books about Black History that are not written by African Americans and I don’t neglect them because of it. I don’t believe in the racial superiority of any sort whether that is White Supremacy or Black Supremacy. (I don’t even believe in white or black people. I use these terms specifically for understanding but I believe we are nations, not colors). That said, I do not shy away from networking with other nationalities of people and I do not neglect my own. I read Urban Fiction but I will also read Western Literature. I can converse with the woman on the corner and the intellectual. I’m not afraid to sit down with sinners and saints because I’m not a judge and it’s really none of my business what people think of me. That’s their problem. I will not be boxed in and I will not be limited.

#3. Neglecting Indie Authors

Readers should not be limited to reading just Traditionally Published books because you’ve read one poorly written book and now every Self-Published book is no good (even when they are being made into movies every day). The Shack, a book I own and have used for research for many years, is now being made into a movie. It started out as a Self-Published Book and became a USA Today Best Seller. It is now being made into a movie.

As an Independent Author, it is my duty to support this community so of course I read books written by Independent Authors. If I am reading something, like a classic novel, I make sure that I also have an Indie book to read. Since I’m a book reviewer, I almost always have one on hand. I don’t just read Indie books, I actually enjoy reading them. Indie books also tend to be cheaper than Trad so there’s really no excuse. You spend more on lunch, no, coffee! Two dollars and under a month (for an eBook) is not expensive. Go the extra mile and buy the paperback (I love paperbacks, obviously). Pick an Indie Author whose books you love that are well-written and support them. Or, pick a slew of Indie Authors and purchase at least one book a month. How can you really support Indie Authors (or change the way you think of us) if you don’t read our books? How can you say all Independent books suck if you’ve never read any? Writing books is the only Independent community where we are having this conversation! Indie Music Artists, for instance, are always supported.

#4. Neglecting Trad. Published / Classics

The door swings both ways people. Don’t neglect the Traditionally Published books and Classics either. Particularly since many of them are well-written. This next part may be sensitive for some of you but it is the truth:

Be Careful Reading Poorly Written Books

This is mainly for you writers out there. Balance is everything. I’m an Indie Author and I support Indie Authors but to disregard the elephant in the room is just naive. While I enjoy Indie books, not all Indie books are well-written.

I’m an advocate for reading period no matter how they were published and I read Indie Books as well as classics and Traditionally Published books because even if I don’t like a story, many of the classics do happen to be well-written. (Which isn’t to say Trad books are always well-written). This is important to me because if you keep reading books that are not up to par you can only begin to write just the same.

Again, I am not saying Indie books can’t compete with literary classics or traditional publishing. I am saying that there are still lots of Self-Published books that are just not well-written. To continue to read this kind of material is counterproductive. So, when reading be sure to have a balance.

#5. Morals / Values

I saved this for last because I know how sensitive we are about anything that we “perceive” to be religious. However, it must be brought up and goes back to the first bullet point: You are what you read.

There are lots of books that are great for research purposes and then there are books that are not worth your time. While some of you are strong enough to “chew the meat and spit out the bones” (take the information that is worthy and apply it and throw out the rest), some of you are also weak minded. By weak-minded I mean it doesn’t take much for you to be negatively influenced or adopt foreign beliefs even if they don’t make any sense.

If you know that you are easily swayed and unstable in your thoughts, you may want to stay away from certain literature that has the potential to change who you are.

Sure, I have books on the importance of watching what I eat but I am not going to become a vegetarian Goddess who condemns all meat-eaters because we should love animals. That’s what I am talking about. It’s not that serious people. How about you love the people around you.

As I say always, staying true to yourself is priority. There are some books that are not even worth your time and you have to be the one to discern that balance. People walk around like reading is just always good. It is not. Everything has a balance to it. There are books that are bad for you just like there is food that is bad for you. Make sure that as you read, you are also paying attention to yourself. Reading can influence your perspective in more ways than one.


Yecheilyah Ysrayl is the author of The Stella Trilogy and is currently working on her next book series. Renaissance: The Nora White Story Book One is due for release July 15, 2017. For updates on this project, be sure to follow this blog and to subscribe to Yecheilyah’s email list HERE.

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Bad Relationship Advice in Movies

Think-Like-a-Man1

I don’t speak much about relationships on this blog. But what I don’t understand is how grown men and women continue to model their relationships after these Hollywood style movies, especially within the Black community. From Waiting to Exhale to Scandal these shows are far from realistic as far as strengthening a relationship is concerned, and are doing nothing more than rotting your attempt to be successful at building a strong family unit. If you’re going to dedicate yourself to these kinds of shows at least understand when you’re being lied to. At least then you can receive back some kind of substance from having watched it. For instance, “Think Like a Man.” First of all, how did Steve Harvey become such a relationship expert? But that’s another post for another day. But here’s a movie where grown men and women play children’s games. Women, Steve Harvey tells you to think like a man. The bible says that Satan thinks like a man, and that the inclination of the thoughts of men’s hearts is only evil continually. It looks good yes, but everything that looks good ain’t. Why do I want to think like a man? I’m a not a man, I’m a woman. These movies got many of you walking around thinking like the devil and you don’t even know it. There is nothing of value that you can take from this movie and apply to your real life relationship. Far as Scandal is concerned, there is just nothing healthy about the way Olivia controls the men in her life; she may as well have them on strings and yall are eating it up. What kind of advice can Ms. Pope give me that will help strengthen my marriage? In the real world we say, “I want to be a good woman,” but then we turn around and give energy to shows that are not representative of what we say we want. Our mouths are in a conflict with our hearts. (And let’s not even talk about Empire that yall love so much. I’m still asking myself why  Denzel Washington could win an award for Training Day and not for Malcolm X. But I suppose we’ll always be nothing more than Pimps and Thugs instead of  Gods and Kings, but that’s another topic for another day). It’s not just about entertainment. Subconsciously, you still take something back from it that you implement into your physical life. The kinds of things we expose ourselves to: music, movies, books, etc., all have the capacity to affect us in some way. There is always something that we take back from the experience and make manifest into our physical existence. I’m not condemning anyone; I ain’t got stones to throw at you that don’t first belong to me. I’m in this same boat. It’s just that I’m at a point in my life where I am beginning to do away with those things that do not prove to be of value to my life. Personally, I cannot continue to give myself to anything that no longer grows me. There are certain things that I am no longer willing to even allow occupying my consciousness. As a unit I just think that we must learn to understand the messages given us and how they are teaching us to operate in the real world. There was a point where I lived for this kind of entertainment, especially because of the love I have for my people. Anything we did or was a part of I wanted to support, even if it was a TV show. But I notice that we tend to upgrade everything about ourselves except our minds. It’s time to get started on that.

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – The Obscurity of Truth

That’s right, it is Wednesday, but not just any Wednesday, it is Writer’s Quote Wednesday, an open forum hosted by Colleen of Silver Threadings that gives us an opportunity to highlight the quotes and lyrics of other authors for inspiration and motivation. Today’s quote comes from Blaise Pascal:

The Obscurity of Truth

Family Guy had an episode where Brian and Stewie had offspring together. For those who do not know, Stewie is a baby (human) and Brian is a dog. So they had a litter of half-dog, half-human offspring. I read an article where a human ear was grown on the back of a mouse. A brother of mine read another article where three men were married. And then I heard on the radio just this morning that there will soon be what is called abortion medication that can be sold over the counter.

We live in a world that becomes more and more free every day. It is not a freedom to which our minds have already accepted. Not a freedom in the sense of being released from chains. Not a releasing type freedom. But the world is becoming free in a different way. In a way that is not as pure as the term freedom might suggest. The lines between what is right and what is wrong are blurred. The basic common sense that people once had is quickly being done away with. While we can go back and forth about one’s perception of right and wrong, in the end the truth will always be there. Whether or not the majority believes it to be so does not nullify its existence. But lies, usually supported under the concept of love, is so well established in this world. It is so well articulated. So well researched. So well put together, that sadly there are many who will never know the difference between what is real and what is not real. What is truth? What is not truth? The answer to this question depends on your level of love for the truth. Not your research. Not your philosophies. Not your rights. Not even your religion. Just the truth. If you love the truth, you will love the answers to these questions. It’s that simple. Or at least it was.

Thanks for stopping by, you know I love to have you, :).

 

Don’t forget to check out Writer’s Quote Wednesday every Wednesday, hosted by Silver Threading.