Not this is particularly controversial, but reading is good for the brain. In retrospect, I’m a little amazed by just how much I seem to have read as a kid. Near as I can remember, the first book of any substance I read was Jack London’s “White Fang” when I was 9. I don’t remember reading too much outside of my assignments once I got to college. (I’d pick it up more again when I graduated.) It was something I always enjoyed, so it wasn’t any kind of chore or accomplishment. But, what I’ve found is that all of those stories gave my brain a sort of vocabulary or library of metaphors I’m able to use when I see a fact pattern in the real world.
What prompted this idle bit of musing is that, today, it occurred to me that our current political situation in the U.S. might be a little reminiscent of Tolkien’s story of Numenor. In the beginning, it was an island given to the good humans for their service to the Valar and the Elves in their war against Morgoth. The land was prosperous as the knowledge and mastery of its people grew. Eventually their power extended over the seas and around the world. They helped the Elves back in the old country defeat an evil empire. But, a darkness grew. Numenor’s leaders, despite enjoying untold wealth, power, and longevity, found that what they had was not enough. They wanted eternal life. Sauron used this to corrupt them until they worshiped and became the evil they once fought against.
Now, I’m not saying that Trump is Ar-Pharazôn the Golden who will ruin the country in his pride by invading Valinor. But, because I’ve read stories such as these, I have learned lessons about hubris and how a good people can be led astray. Books are full of lessons! Forewarned is forearmed.
(Incidentally, this random, somewhat pointless quick hit type of blog post comes from a notion that generating content for Facebook and Twitter isn’t necessarily the best use of my time. If I feel inclined to ramble to the world, might as well just do it here.)