Did you know it's banned books week? For the life of me, I can't imagine why anyone would want to censor ideas and words. Books are there to expand our views, show us a life beyond our own, and even show us what life is and shouldn't be. Maybe that's why people ban books--they think they're protecting us from things that can hurt us, or damaging ideas.
Here's the deal, though--life isn't all rainbows and unicorns. It's not meant to be. Life can be painful, or to quote the Dread Pirate Roberts, "Life is pain." (Because if you can quote The Princess Bride, you really should...) Sugar coating what we read won't protect us from that. Reading about it helps us learn, to process how that feels, and deal with it.
Read a banned book! Some of my favorites:
The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hoseini
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
1984 by George Orwell
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I see a common thread in all of these books: authority is challenged, and the status quo is seen as corrupt. The overarching theme is the need to change or destroy that status quo. No wonder the powers that be don't like these books! So this week, go out and tick off the thought police. Think for yourself and share a banned book with a friend.