Teach Youngsters To Read And Hope For The Best

Blog 2032 – 04.18.2021

Teach Youngsters To Read And Hope For The Best

The comic commentator, HBO Real Time host, Bill Maher, commenting on Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, recently said, “I heard that Governor Ron DeSantis reads widely. Also that he cared enough to protect the most vulnerable in his state, the elderly, from COVID-19. That is more than can be said for New York’s Democratic Governor, Andrew Cuomo.”

As long as someone reads and widely there is hope that their minds will change. A mind is indeed a terrible thing to waste and if you or I do not change our minds and often we will like babies whose diapers are not changed and often begin to stink, or perhaps to waste away, or worse be stuck in some mythical nineteen fifties version of reality. Some years before his famous Spider-Man franchise, Toby Maguire starred in the movie Pleasantville where he and his sister, played by Reese Witherspoon, become trapped in a black and white nineteen-fifties sitcom. In the story, only after some young people in Pleasantville begin to read and rebel does color come into theirs and everyone else’s lives. Black and white lives indeed matter, but so do all the colors of the rainbow.

Too many people believe it is their job to teach us what to think and to view the world from their particular shade of tinted glasses, when every would be teacher’s true job is to teach us to think for ourselves. Oh, the world of discoveries that are yet to be made when we do. I like Bill Maher, because he questions not just conservative “group think” but liberal “group think” as well. Like a teacher, a comedian’s job is to get us to think, not tell us what to think, for that we have all the talking heads on the twenty-four hours news stations, who already think along with the preachers, politicians, lawyers, and sales people that mind control is their business.

When I was a boy the nightly television news was thirty minutes long, fifteen minutes for local news and fifteen minutes for national news. And I recall thinking even then, that was too long even with commercial breaks which were usually more interesting than the news. How did anyone ever sell us on the idea that we needed even one twenty-four hour news channel, let alone one for every political persuasion? Boring – there really just is not that much breaking news. It reminds me of the bored fire fighter who turns arsonist to give himself and his workmates something to occupy their time besides sitting around playing checkers.

For heaven sake dudes and dudettes, read a book, or as the young folks used to say, “Free your mind and the rest will follow.” Families who pray together may indeed stay together, but individuals who read widely travel far and wide and their hearts and minds become even more open to all the Universe has for them.

Your friend and fellow traveler,

David White

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