Today I just wanted to share an awesome Ted Talk I came across.
Ann Morgan thought she was “well read.” But she looked at her bookshelf one day to realise she had only read US and UK authors. What a light bulb moment to have!
It is an example of a cultural blindpost of course – but it is an example of one person recognising it and overcoming it. We never realise how blind we are to other cultures, because we are surrounded by our own. One of my favourite quotes in this regard is, “Without a culture we cannot see, but with a culture we are forever blind.” Irving, 1986.
So how did Morgan overcome this blindspot? She set herself a challenge to read a novel or set of short stories from every country in the world!
What a phenomenal way to open up your horizons!
But there was a challenge – her only language is English. So she reached out to people around the world to find texts that had been translated into English. Without spoiling the ending, what this did was create numerous global connections, as she corresponded with people around the world, sometimes in very small countries.
All of those relationships are great examples of collaborative bridges – opportunities to connect and share each other’s worlds.
Definitely check out the video above – I am inspired to widen my own reading – I encourage you to do likewise.
I’m also wondering what it would be like to watch a movie – even a youtube clip – from every country in the world. What about listening to a piece of music composed from each country in the world? Read a website or a blog from every country in the world? There are so many forms of media in the world today that even if you’re not a book worm, you can still explore so many different cultures. And as Ann demonstrates – there are ways to overcome the traditional language barriers to doing so.
Comment down below with any other ideas you have of doing this.
I don’t have time to do the whole world, but I’ll definitely blog about any of my attempts to do this and broaden my horizons.
You can check out her blog at: http://ayearofreadingtheworld.com/