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When I was in high school, I had an awesome history teacher. Everyone in the school knew him and he was involved in many jokes due to his seemingly uncaring and sarcastic attitude. He’s still there, still teaching, and I think my sister had him at one point as well. We had him for Honors US History. And since we were the first ever Honors US History class in this history of my school, we were guinea pigs, to see what kind of work level we could handle.
And one of the parts of this class was reading A People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present
by Howard Zinn. Now at the time, I have to tell you the truth. I hated this. We had to write a lot of papers talking about different chapters of this book and I was like “Ugh, it’s so much work.” (Oh high school self, we need to have a chat about what you think is so much work lol)
But now, as an adult, I really appreciate that my teacher exposed me to Howard Zinn. Because in exposing me to Howard Zinn, he didn’t just expose me to that one author and that one book, he exposed me to a whole concept. He exposed me to the idea that there are more sides to history than just what is in one book. And that idea, it’s the kind that has the potential to open your mind. And it did open mine – to knowledge and to wanting to learn more. And to realizing that history isn’t just the be all and end all of what it says in this book. Who knows, someday I may even have my own kids read it.
But anyways, to address this quote, I think it speaks pretty well for itself. I could give you lots of examples (Germany during WWII is what first jumps to mind, but there are other ones as well) but I won’t, because I’d rather you think about it for yourself. But I just want to say this. We definitely need to live our lives with our eyes wide open. We can’t always just blindly follow the status quo or what the government says or what any other person says either. Because all of those things can be led astray and can lead us into destructive behavior, either for ourselves or for others.
Don’t just blindly follow. Know why you’re doing what you’re doing. And make sure you’re doing the right thing.