We Are All Readers – Claire
Welcome to the library.
Welcome to a place full of endless knowledge and wonders; a place where you can explore the unknown. You will meet many different individuals here. The fleers, who enter the grand room, look around and become overwhelmed; they don’t stick around much longer than necessary. The skimmers —those who pick up a book (definitely judged by the cover) and maybe read a page or two before deciding that they have no interest in the words before them. And here —here we have the readers. Those who don’t hold back; who dive right into the knowledge before them. The page turners, the open minded, fearless explorers who find no qualms in escaping reality and “becoming someone else” for a while. They let themselves change with the library as books come and go, people come and go; they are okay with the idea of being wrong and being challenged. They are okay with sharing the stories they’ve come across with others; giving access of their newfound wisdom not just to their fellow readers but to the skimmers and the fleers as well. They mourn the banned books and the knowledge that can no longer be gained from them. They search for the hidden treasures of the library, scouring the catacombs beneath. They know that no matter the architecture, ancient or modern, small or large, old or new —all libraries have the same potential.
Welcome to Mr. Jackson’s Philosophy 12 class.
Welcome to a place full of endless knowledge and wonders; a place where you can explore the unknown. You will meet many different individuals in any high school classroom: the part-time artists and social media gurus who enter the room, look around, and decide that today is not the day that they’re ready to start learning; the headphone listener’s who pay attention for the first few minutes before literally tuning out…but here —here we have the philosopher’s. Because, truly, that is what we all are. The students who are engaged and who, despite the fact that I don’t have any eye catching visuals or pretty shiny things to distract you with, are listening and learning from what I have to say. The wisdom I have to share. You are the open minded, fearless explorers who find no qualms in letting others challenge you and your mindset. You are willing to change in this room and you know the importance of listening to others; you know that there is wisdom to be gained. And, most importantly, you know that no matter the structure of a person; who they are, where they come from, their age, their experience —we all have the same potential. We have potential. We are all full of wisdom, and once we can learn to be vulnerable with one another, once we learn to love our past, our experiences, and the wisdom we have gained —that is when we can start sharing and start learning. Once we step out of our cave, our protected shelter where things are “safe” and we are content, we can let ourselves be challenged. We can face dissent and learn from it, because to have a better understanding of who we are and the world around us, we mustn’t allow ourselves to fear the unknown —you don’t learn from fleeing or skimming; we must choose to be readers. Just like libraries, we are always changing. People come and go from our lives, our knowledge grows, sometimes we feel as though we lose what we have gained, but that’s okay. It’s okay to step out of your comfort zone; okay to let others into your carefully crafted cave and to guide you out –to share your wisdom and to face dissent. It’s okay to change; to let that happen. Do not fear philosophy. Do not fear the questions and challenges and new opinions and ideas. Embrace it. Take that step, enter the library and read.