Saturday, September 19, 2009

When children awaken to a sense of their rights

Mr. F is a teacher, an avid reader, fond of conversation, and a believer that all children must be empowered to set a course of success in life.
He described one of his summer reads, and I, having lacked such conversation with my own parents, listened attentively. You see, inside I am a young person wanting to learn, and always appreciative of opportunities to do so.
Frederick, a slave, was barely taught to read by one of his mistresses/owner. Her husband stopped such efforts because he feared a slave who could read would be empowered to revolt against his life of servitude. Frederick understood then that he must do exactly what his master did not want him to do. His biggest early feat was to teach himself to read. His life was changed.
Stories of brutality, mistreatment of humans, and the failure of those who can to allow the less powerful to be all they can be always cause pain and revolt in me. I think I will remember Frederick's story and use it as affirmation that all I have taught myself will serve me right.

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