A Summer’s Read

I was just in a meeting with Joe Radinovich, who is seeking the DFL nomination for Congress in the Eighth District, which includes my home on Lake Vermilion. [Don’t quit reading, yet, this is not about politics.] In my past I’d rather have gotten a poke in the eye from a sharp stick than listen to a politician. Simply put, I always felt politics was dirty business…born out in spades (yes, intentionally) in our current administration in D.C. But politics I now have to admit, will have an impact on the futures of my grandchildren as well as the future of my currently pristine lake.

Mr. Radinovich opened with a strong admonition of the current administration’s cutting of education funding, including the attempt here in Minnesota. He made a plea for the importance of education, especially Early Childhood Education. This certainly got my attention: really, a future possible Congressional “leader” who realizes the importance of education! And at least says he’s going to do something about it.

I asked him his take on why the current administration and parties in power all around the nation don’t realize, apparently, the personal, financial, and societal value of education, especially when the “facts” support the benefit as well as the need. His first answer was ‘smooth’: “Because there aren’t enough people who think like us.”

Well, I believe there are a lot of people who “think like us.” Who know there is nothing more important than education. We’re just not having our voices heard by the people (we’ve put) in power. We don’t speak up. Don’t know if it’s apathy, frustration with the direction of things, or a feeling of futility?

Polls show millennials, our largest demographic and thus influential, recognize the importance of education. BUT, apparently they don’t generally read much beyond a short post. Ironic. Two problems (at least) with this: 1) Due to technology’s ability to read our minds, most of the posts we see only support our current beliefs and biases. 2) Thus, although they ‘tell’ us something, do they actually get us to ‘think?’ I believe novels, which don’t simply “report” but give us alternatives to our biases, are necessary to get us to actually ‘think.’ 

So (if you’ve read this far), I suggest a summer’s read. “Will:” written by, hopefully, a thought-provoking author (me, of course). Polls say a very small percentage of all people, but primarily young adults, read books anymore. So, settle yourselves comfortably in a chair this summer, escape the pressures of your ordinary lives, and read a book—any book—if not “Will.” The reviews have said the characters are great, the story interesting, and although the tone is “tongue-in-cheek, is thought-provoking.

Here’s the last paragraph of one review of “Will:” “It’s an easy romp that will leave the reader something to think about, which is about as much as you can expect from a paperback novel.” (Although it is available in an e-book. you can order it at any bookstore, but I suggest avoiding Amazon and order from Thomson-Shore, Seattle Book Company and code in “book club” getting a 25% discount).  

In Will’s will to his friend Peewee, he wrote: “Einstein wrote, ‘Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” Understanding – a synonym for “education.” You gonna argue with Einstein?’

[If you read “Will,” please leave a comment here on my site. Thanks, have an interesting summer.]