Every writer has a responsibility. This moral code varies from author to author in their proper description of people from all races and backgrounds. It is up to the reader, if they agree with the writing…or believe it is mostly trash. That is when we lay the book down…and decide if it is good for our children to read…pure and simple.
As a retired teacher, I know the joy that children have in reading. As a parent, who took my children regularly to the library, I observed my son, Steve, sitting in a corner with his piles of books…simply absorbed in them. Reading aloud is another of life’s joys…and the books of Dr. Seuss lend greatly to that pleasure.
First ladies have promoted and read the Seuss books in the White House. Certainly if his books were racist, this would never have happened. Will they, or anyone, now be pressured into apologizing for reading Dr. Seuss books… because having fun with reading was their point? Another question is: What are we doing to our children by wiping out the joys of life?
Where is all this fuss about Dr. Seuss leading our society? When States start taking books off the shelves in schools and publishers say they are not going to publish any longer the authors, like Dr. Seuss, what then? Perhaps we should run out to a flea market or used book store to find and buy all Dr. Seuss’ books…so that our grandchildren’s children can have a rare copy to read!
Do you think that it is stretching it to worry about a modern day book burning? I can visualize any unapproved books being burned in front of the Nation’s Capitol by those who would cancel out our culture. They would consider it a demonstration “for the good of all…especially children.” After all the press about Dr. Seuss, what teacher will dare to read Seuss’ books to the little ones!? What librarian is going to stock the shelves with his books?
The point is that unless we are careful, our society will be overrun by naysayers and they are starting with our children. Parents can talk to their children about interpretations of drawings or the written word. Some parents will…others will not teach their children what is right or wrong. In the long run, however, it is still their responsibility…not the decision of any government, federal or state,… as well as commercial enterprises to perform censorship. We have seen this attempt with online companies, as well.
What about history and books?
We might also start thinking about this act of banning books by looking back at history. During the World War II era, the burning of books, that didn’t fit the political atmosphere of the day, was prevalent. Of course, the anti-Semitic book written by Hitler, Mein Kampf, was not banned at this time because it was the propaganda that stirred the revolts against Jews and other people considered unfit to be part of Germany. Regardless, to wipe out a book entirely, whether they are the words of an evil dictator or even the Bible, is difficult to do. Mein Kampf is still available throughout the world today…even in Germany.
Long before World War II, there were other authors whose works were burned. Have you ever heard of Heinrich Heine? He made this statement: “Wherever they burn books, in the end will also burn human beings.” – Heinrich Heine
He probably didn’t know how prophetic his words were because he died in1856. This is his story:
Essayist, journalist and poet Christian Johann Heinrich Heine is considered one of the most significant German romantic poets. Born into a family of assimilated German Jews in 1797, Heine’s father was a merchant, and his mother the daughter of a physician. After his father’s business failed, Heine was sent to Hamburg to go into business, but soon took up law instead. At that time, Jews were forbidden from entering certain professions, one of which was university lecturing, a profession that Heine was drawn to. He took his law degree in 1825 and converted from Judaism to Protestantism the same year – he later described his conversion as “the ticket of admission into European culture”, and spent much of his life wrestling with the incompatible elements of his German and Jewish identities.
He made his poetry debut with Gedichte (“Poems”) in 1821, followed by Buch der Lieder (“Book of Songs”, 1827). He left Germany for Paris in 1831 where he associated with utopian socialists who preached an egalitarian classless paradise based on meritocracy. In 1835, German authorities banned his work and that of others associated with the progressive Young Germany movement; but Heine continued to comment on German politics and society for the rest of his life from his exile in France, only returning to Germany once in secret. He died in Paris in 1856 after an eight year illness. In 1933, copies of Heine’s books were among the many burned on Berlin’s Opernplatz. (from Book Browse)
America…We must be balanced! Get a grip!!
We pray that Americans will come to their senses. Freedom of the press…freedom of thought…and the future of our children are all at stake. Therefore, in honor of his great collection of works, we finish with the words of Dr. Seuss in his book, Oh the Places You will Go, when he stresses to the reader that life is “a great balancing act.” He was not a perfect man and had challenges like the rest of us…with personal tragedies, but he also gave encouragement to his readers:
“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.”
VIDEO: The story of Dr. Seuss’ life and his books (Turn up your sound)
March 3, 2021 | Categories: Adults and Children, books by N.W.Boyer, Books of Inspiration, Boyer Writes, Children, Community, Family, Famous People, FREEDOM, governments, Great Writers and Poets, History, Important to know, Over-coming Life's Problems, Socialism Communism Dictatorships, Teaching Values to young people | Tags: balancing act, burning books in Germany, children's books, democracy, Dr. Seuss, Dr. Seuss books, freedom, freedom of speech, Freedom of the Press, Heinrich Heine, history of book burning, Hitler, Mein Kampf, Oh the Places You will Go, reading, reading joys, reading to children, White House reading, writers | 2 Comments