|Source: @BannedBooksWeek on Twitter
I always love Banned Books Week. I still find it amazing in our day and age that we even need to celebrate such an event, but the sad fact remains that books are still banned to this day. I mean, I guess I can see why. Books promote ideas. And what could be worse than people having ideas? They might change their life-views, expand their horizons, question the status quo, think for themselves! Horror!
It's one of the things that has truly shocked and disappointed me about my family dynamic. I grew up in a pretty sheltered, small environment. To be sure, my parents freely encouraged me to read and never really monitored what I read. I guess they felt that if I wasn't ready for something, I just wouldn't get it, but I wouldn't be scarred by the experience. And I think they were right. I am so grateful for that kind of freedom growing up. Then I went to college. Not only was I reading things, but I was discussing these things. I was no longer in a vacuum. I participated in the free exchange of ideas. And I changed. I broke off the shackles that fettered me to my parents' modes of thinking; in a way, I outgrew them. Eventually, I even became more vocal about disagreeing with my parents and questioning them and the status quo.
And it's like they don't really believe me. Like they think I'm going through some phase, like a rebellious teenager. If they even acknowledge it (my dad usually turns a blind eye and a deaf ear). This turn of events has certainly put a strain on the relationship. Mostly we can get along, but sometimes I just have to walk away or call bull-shit. Or pour another extra large glass of wine.
I wouldn't change it for the world.
I wouldn't dare go back to living a small-minded, closed-minded existence for the sake of familial harmony.
This is why we're here--to question, to think big, to dream big, to move beyond.
I am so grateful to books for giving me this medium to expand my horizons. This is so important in the current political climate. Books have made me question, books have made me wary, and books have made be fight.
This week I celebrate the perpetual quest for knowledge and growth by promoting open access to books. I hope you will join me by picking up something controversial and thinking about it. Maybe it will change your view, maybe it will reaffirm your view, but it will definitely change you and make you grow.