As a business writer, people often ask me what books they should read to become better leaders. For years, my answer has been the same: read good fiction. If you want to learn how people think and behave, read a novel, a short story, or a play. Think of how effective we could be as leaders if we used our understanding of people to better empathize with our employees, clients, and boards.
While I have some reservations about the fairness and wisdom of ramming the new sex education curriculum down the throats of unwilling parents, I am still scratching my head over the strength of this parental protest. Why are parents more upset about the somewhat-flawed new sex education curriculum than the known-to-be-very-flawed math and language arts curriculum already in place? Nor do the problems with the Ontario curriculum end with math and language arts. What about its music curriculum that doesn't teach kids how to sight read or sing in tune? Why aren't students taught cursive writing?
Findings revealed that participants who read on an iPad produced 55 per cent less melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that tends to increase in the evening to induce sleepiness and regulate sleep. It is also a strong anti-inflammatory known to suppress cancer cell growth. When melatonin levels decrease they can shift the body's circadian rhythm and make it difficult to fall asleep.
A woman who reads will feel no hesitation when accepting your coffee invitation. She's read this story before. You will talk about your lives during the in between. She will find comfort in your intonation. She appreciates tone, syntax and timing, and welcomes subtle moments of silence and awkward spurts of simultaneous sentence starting.
Reading is among the last truly subversive acts we can perform, time spent in our own minds, active and imaginative, alone with our emotions, judgments, and dreams, where no one can reach us. Yet frequent readers are also more likely to participate in community and to trust the people in that community.
Our school lost a shining light this week. A little boy -- six years old. He, the lover of hockey, fishing and fun, was taken suddenly, leaving our school community grappling with life and death issues. In my classroom, I turned to the one sure thing I knew could shed some light, love and laughter on an otherwise dark cloud that hovered low. Your books.