If we want to unite our country, we need to rebuild empathy.
And what better way then stepping in the shoes of a fictional character? What better way than sharing a book?
Diverse yet divided cities like Chicago have done it. It might be a logistical nightmare to plan an official meeting for all 300 million of us to attend a book club meeting, but why doesn’t the President select a book he recommends every American read that year? And if President Obama had time to read an hour before bed every night, in between solving the 2008 economic crisis and finding Osama Bin Laden, what’s our excuse?
If we spent less time on our smartphones, yelling in the echo chambers of our social networks, and more time reading fiction instead of fake news, how much more empathy could we rebuild as a country that our kids recite everyday is “indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”?