How We Open Ourselves to Meaning

The work of opening myself to the world beyond my own experience began early. Perhaps because we didn’t have a television, I became a voracious reader, as did my younger sister and brother. Beginning in middle school, my family made weekly treks to the public library in town. I would return home each time with a dozen or more books. A few years later, the library named our family “Library Family of the Year,” an honor that included an article in the local newspaper, complete with a photo of us surrounded by our stacks of library books, reading. Neither the article nor the photo of me-with an uneven haircut and woefully unstylish clothes-did anything to improve my renown at school. The books began to open my world. I learned about airplanes and imagined myself flying fighter planes in the Air Force. I learned about traveling to outer space and imagined myself blasting out of Earth’s orbit as an astronaut. I imagined myself as beset by adventure as the Hardy boys and as plucky and courageous as Nancy Drew. Ron Koertge whimsically expresses Nancy’s resourcefulness in his poem “Nancy Drew”
Living in ignorance of what’s true about the people and world around us doesn’t make us happier; it ultimately makes us more fearful. In some cases, if what there is to know about other people or the world around us is a hard truth, we can work to make things better.
#stewartlifecoaching #openouselvestomeaning

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