That’s because some parts will spur disagreement. Some parts will make you uncomfortable. And some parts might take you places you weren’t expecting to go.
That’s what makes a terrific Reading Together book – a book that sparks discussion. There’s a lot to talk about here, and many of the conversations aren’t easy. But they are necessary.
Even if you’re not participating in a community discussion, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s thoughts will make you question some of the opinions you hold yourself. Examining our own views on a topic and being open to others is the best way to know yourself, and to know your community.
We must learn to have constructive conversations with people who don’t agree with us. What is someone else’s experience that makes them see an issue differently? Accepting another’s opinion beyond our own is challenging work, but it’s worth doing.
If you’ve picked up the book, thank you. You probably won’t agree with everything (I didn’t). You might not want to participate in community conversation, and that’s fine. Opening the book is the first step to opening yourself up a little bit, and understanding each other makes a strong community. Let’s go to it, Kalamazoo.
Stacy Nowicki, Library Director, Kalamazoo College, and Reading Together Steering Committee member