Who we are is what we send out.
Does that make sense?
In the same way that money might expose us, rather than change us, books in general, and our reading in particular, may do the same thing.
If you have even been admonished for who, or what, you are reading, this may be for you. I know I have been reprimanded at one point or the other by an unthinking critic.
Jacobs points this out earlier when he says:
You can know whether your social environment is healthy for thinking by its attitude toward ideas from the outgroup.
The challenge should be to read opposing views for clarity.
What do I think, and why? Is my argument as strong as opposing ones?
He finishes the thought:
The true believer is always concerned, both on her behalf and on that of other members of her
ingroup, for mental purity. But as Jesus said, it is not what we take in that defiles us, it’s what we send out. And, specifically in relation to what we read, the Swiss polymath G. C. Lichtenberg issued a wise warning centuries ago: “A book is like a mirror: if a donkeylooks in, you can’t expect an apostle to look out.”
-Alan Jacobs, How To Think