1. People ask if you’ve read any good books lately. But I generally don’t have much to share. I am pretty sure they are looking for something ‘fun’ or ‘entertaining’. But outside of the occasional mystery or re-read of a Jane Austen novel (can you ever really get enough of Hercule Poirot or Mr. Darcy?!), I really don’t read much fiction. My current tome is this:
2. Granted, in school I grabbed on to math and science. History and civics classes were never much of interest to me. But as I have figured some things out about how I learn, I think these subjects never captured me because I couldn’t be active in them, like I could math and science. Math and science required me to think and to do. Social studies classes, at least as they were taught to me (from what I can remember), required me to merely memorize random facts. Memorization was always a losing battle with me.
3. Back to the book. Politics fascinates me, and I find working in such political entity both fascinating and entertaining. One of the chapters I just finished talked about President Hoover’s ideas and policies in the first half of the twentieth century. He talked about voluntary sacrafice a lot, both as a necessity to stave off coming crises and for personal political gains. It makes me wonder… How many modern Republicans have disavowed Hoover ideals? How many people even know what he wrote about or what he suggested to President Truman in the years after World War II?
4. How did those policies clear the way for our modern system of agriculture and food production? And the current quality problems we face in regards to food? (Emphasis mine.)
5. Back in my undergraduate years, I knew this young woman. We will call her “Red”, for the purposes of this discussion, because of her red hair. Something she said to me once stuck with me. I have no idea what we were talking about at the time, although I was probably questioning the ‘why’ of some or another concept, as I usually do. Anyway, Red giggled quietly, clapped her hand over her mouth, shook her head at me and said, “Jenny, you think too much.”
To this day, that still stings horribly, and has forever shadowed my opinion of her. I believe it is our job as citizens, much less human beings, to question the world around us. If we are to learn, to grow, to help make this place a better place for us all, we must question our leaders and our institutions. If something is confusing, or doesn’t seem to work correctly, isn’t it better to point out the issues and change things for the better?
Now, to the best of my knowledge, Red is still judging me on the paths I have NOT taken, and wondering why I think so much.
Let her wonder. Maybe the thinking will do her some good.
Meanwhile, I am going to keep learning and reading and questioning. This country we live in is amazing and I would rather be an active citizen than an armchair critic.