Monday, June 6, 2011

Fighting For "Rats"

Recently I was reading a book about the Civil War.  Some union soldiers were questioning why some southern prisoners  were fighting to keep slavery.  One southern soldier replied he wasn't fighting for slavery, he was fighting for his "rats".  After hearing the same reply several more times, the union soldier finally realized "rats" meant rights.  So the union soldier asked him which "rats" he was fighting for.  After great though, the southern soldier couldn't come up with a suitable answer, but he was sure they were important "rats".

Think of the times you watched the news and saw some clips of rebels fighting in some third wold country.  How many of these people really know what "rats" their fighting for or even have a clue that they are being exploited by leaders who basically care only about their own self  gratification.  It doesn't even have to be a third world country, just check out our own political or religious bickering.  I am always amazed watching elderly people on television bitching about keeping the government out of their lives.  Hello -- anybody heard of Social Security or Medicare.  That seems like a government intrusion, but one that nobody wants to give up.

As I see it, a major problem is people do not know how to exercise critical thinking.  It's easy to remember and chant bumper sticker quotes.  It takes a little effort to dig beneath the surface and separate fact from fiction.  Worst yet, it is really hard to face facts that are contrary to your opinion.

When I am King, every school in American will be required to have daily critical thinking activities starting in kindergarten.  Maybe someday, people will actually know which "rats" there fighting for.