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Monday, April 22, 2019

The Power of Reading: Earth Day, Sports, Mueller.

In 1962 Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring was published. Her book detailing the poisonous effects of pesticides on our natural world ignited public concern and helped launched an environmental movement that led to Earth Day and legislative efforts at stopping the polluting and poisoning of our world.

Decades later, pesticides are, sadly, still a problem (e.g., Pesticides Are Harming Bees in Literally Every Way Possible, by Liza Gross, Wired, 1/24/2019). But think about the work and courage behind Rachel Carson's book and its impact on all who read it; where might we be now if she hadn't acted?

The power and influence of books is amazing, and that power is influential not just in the broad world with works like Silent Spring or, say, the Mueller Report ("[I]f we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President [Trump] clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment." Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election, Vol. II, p. 182). Books connect with individuals, too. For example, this interesting story came from soccer star Abby Wambach in an interview that appeared in the NYT Book Review yesterday:
I never read as a child. I was confident on the field, but I was lost in the classroom . . . Although, it is true that I found my way to soccer because of a book. My sister Beth told my mom she wanted to learn to play soccer so my mom went to the library and checked out a book called "How to Play Soccer." Our family read it, signed us all up for teams, and I scored 27 goals in my first three games. I guess I do owe it all to books.
The New York Times Book Review, p. 7, April 21, 2019.

What a great story: Mom gets a library book and the potential for her daughter's fabulous career is unlocked.

Reading and writing are powerful tools. Enjoy the magic!

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