One of my favourite things about a good book or movie is the moment it ends.
"Here's looking at you, kid" by Jaskirat Singh Bawa
You turn the last page, or the credits start to roll, and you glance up – still half immersed in the story, half back in the real world – as if waking slowly from a very deep sleep. At this moment, and for a few minutes until it fades, the world looks completely different.
Sometimes, the feeling will last longer. A great book can stay for days, months – even a lifetime. The feeling won’t remain as clear but the world is ever so slightly altered.
"Reading" by Moyan Brenn
Now more than ever it is easy to connect only with the things that we find within our own comfort zones. We choose the news channels we prefer, talk to the people whose views we agree with, and browse websites which support the conclusions we’ve already drawn.
My philosophy professor always said to us that we should treat an alternate view as if it was coming from a respected and beloved friend. To look through a different lens with openness rather than hostility.
It takes courage to open ourselves up to being changed. Courage to take a chance on trying to understand something foreign to us, knowing that we might have to alter our own, perhaps closely-held views. A new book, film or documentary is a challenge – to absorb new ideas, in thus to become a new person.
Next time you walk out of the movie theatre or lift your eyes from a book, take in the world around you. Savour that half-dreaming place of looking through the world through a new lens. Let yourself be changed.