Biographies and Autobiographies - do tehy benefit you?

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  1. Girija Deshpande profile image59
    Girija Deshpandeposted 10 years ago

    Recently, some one told me that reading bigraphies and autobiographies is meaningless, because they narrate the author's perspectives of certain situations and events, and neither are those situations nor is your personality ever going to match with the author's. I wondered about this.
      Any write up, or even a conversation reflects our response to a certain situation and life is all about sharing, understanding that there can be more than one way of looking at things. We may not necessarily agree with an author's view, but the very awareness that there can be such though processes is educative.
    Nowadays, people are either too busy or involved with their own life, hardly any general sharing takes place. Unless we expect some one to act on what we have to say, we son't share! If someone shares with me an experience, usually there is a request about how I can help solve this crisis. Certainly, there is  nothing wrong with this.
    However, for every such open request, there are thousands of quiet, suppressed cries, from your own family, friends, aquiantances,for they think why bother you when you cannot do something about this.We never realize whatt ehy go through ina given situation because we look at it with our limited perception.
    However, reading broadens our vision, and we learn to put ourselves in the shoes of other people even if they don't expect us to; we develop empathy; when we read autobiographies and biographies we learn how great souls thought or behaves in certain circumstances. We put ourselves in that predicament and wonder what we wold ahve done. This develops humility too.
    What do you believe?

  2. wychic profile image87
    wychicposted 10 years ago

    I'll have to answer that question with a resounding YES, they do benefit me.

    I love to read any biography or autobiography I can get a hold of and have yet to find one that I couldn't take anything away from...sometimes it was just learning what lies behind the writings of some of my favorite authors, or the challenges a scientific genius faces in everyday life, but I can also often see some useful coping skills for everyday problems and people that have overcome problems I can't even imagine...still others help me remember history much better than I would have if I'd just read a textbook on the event (I just finished reading a biography of Varina Davis, wife of Jefferson Davis, that was particularly enlightening).

    I'm one that believes there is very little reading that goes to waste...but biographies are much more use to me than most anything else I read. Memoirs, a biography of a slightly different ilk, are still beneficial as well even if the only thing that is preserved is a personal history and a narrative about a culture that may or may not still exist now or in the future.

  3. The Indexer profile image79
    The Indexerposted 10 years ago

    Yes, they benefit me because I help people to get them written and published!

    A lady phoned me a year or two ago and asked me to edit her life story, because she wanted her grandchildren to know how her own life had been lived, and therefore what it was that made her children (the parents of the grandchildren) what they were.  I read the book and was convinced that other people could benefit from it, even though they had no personal connection with the author.  Richard Branson's publishing company took the same line, and the book is now out there being sold.

    I am currently editing the life story of another remarkable person whose story of hardship overcome deserves to be heard, mainly because it shows that other people can also be winners in life.  This book has a long way to go - much of it is as yet unwritten - but I'd be happy to let anyone have a sneak preview of excerpts from it, to see if they agree!

    I would however agree that there are many autobiographies out there that should never have been written! I see no point in adding to the already overflowing coffers of some rock or film star simply because their picture on the front cover of a book will make people buy it!

  4. VioletSun profile image78
    VioletSunposted 10 years ago

    I am currently editing the life story of another remarkable person whose story of hardship overcome deserves to be heard, mainly because it shows that other people can also be winners in life.  This book has a long way to go - much of it is as yet unwritten - but I'd be happy to let anyone have a sneak preview of excerpts from it, to see if they agree! >>>


    I have a friend who wrote a spiritual book about her life's journey; spent I believe 4 years writing it, and finally published it recently. When I received the book, there were typos that were very distracting to me. It actually detracts from the message of her book. I felt bad that the company that agreed to publish and promote her book, did not use editing services.

  5. prasadjain profile image65
    prasadjainposted 10 years ago

    Reading biographies /autobiographies of great achievers has a great benefit to the reader. They tell us how such people overcame their sorrows, sufferings, insults, pains and rose to such heights. They fill courage and confidence in us.I have been suggesting my students to read autobiographies often.

 
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