Due to a recent question I was asked, I’ve been rummaging through childhood memories and examining the books I read as a youngster. It’s an instructive, refreshing and thought-provoking experience, particularly as I have young sons of my own now. I’m not a psychologist or a teacher, but I’m convinced that what one reads as a child is of vital significance. Ideas have consequences. The claim that books have no effect on their readers is demonstrably incorrect. I won’t argue that, other than to point out that advertisers are willing to spend millions of dollars on short commercials designed to manipulate our thoughts. You can fill in the dots from that idea to my original claim that reading books (absorbing ideas) have consequences. Oh, and be sure to add Lenin’s thought into that as well: “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.”
There’s a great deal here that I aim to be thinking about over the next few months. If you do have children, give them great books. Be choosy. I’m not so arrogant to say this on behalf of my own books. Instead, go find the great books first. Life’s short and children grow up fast.