Let's do this backwards. The boxed sets of "Little House on the Prairie" by Laura Ingalls Wilder and "The Chronicles of Narnia" by C. S. Lewis, (Please note the original ordering of the Chronicles of Narnia with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe first.) We talked the other day about "Home is where the Books Live", today I'll reiterate. Books are my most prized possessions. These are my longest held sets, the first given to me right after I had been born by my Grandfather. Both sets have been with me since Michigan which is as long as I've had anything. I still have my stuffed animals from that time too, my Ba-ba bear and musical giraffe, but they don't provoke longing the way my books do. I've added more sets over the years and amassed a library of treasured good. If faced with the decision to get rid of my Harry Potter or Laura Ingalls set, I think I'd rather just die than make the choice.
Books are tangible knowledge. I can reach out and grab an item which will transport me around the world, to the edge of the universe or another realm all together. How can you not love that? And with libraries, it means knowledge is accessible to anyone who wants it. Isn't that beautiful?
Now for what I'm thankful for. My family. I mean, of course, that's obvious. I've also talked by now about great it is to have a family that gets along and legitimately enjoys each others' presence. I'm thankful for my family every day of the year.
Today I'll focus on one of those reasons. I'm thankful for my family because I was raised to be a thinker. I can see it happen now as an adult. A child comes up to an adult with a question, "Why this? Why that? What does this mean?" And what does the adult do?
They tell the kid to shut up and stop asking questions or, what I consider to be the higher sin, they start prattling off their beliefs to the kid, highlighting this or that as "the most important point."
Why would answering a question be a sin? It's not the answering, but the answering with certainty. The "I know and this is why. Believe me because I say so." I was never taught that; more importantly, I was taught to act against it. The minute I would start to spout something I'd heard at school, some outrageous backwards belief my friends told me, my parents would stop me and ask, "Well why?" What do you mean why? Because so and so said. "Well, why do they think that? What information are they using to deduce those conclusions?" And I'd have to pause. What are my reasons for saying that? Where is the evidence to support that belief?
Learning how to think takes practice. It's something that if you're not taught how to do it, you may never learn. If you're not practiced enough to stop and consider your point, to require quality evidence, to never take anything at face value, you could get caught up in the telephone game. He said, she said, fake news, alternative facts. I'm thankful I have a family to protect me from that.