Shakespeare vs Schweitzer

How is your reading of the Christmas Carol going? That’s what I thought. SInce I know some of you have a busy life and are not reading machines like myself, I’m saving my Charles Dickens post for next week.

This post’s inspiration came curtsey of my brother. Well, one of them. He was telling about his English class, and like everything else that happens to us, we discussed it.

How many of you are familiar with Ophelia? She is Hamlet’s crazy girlfriend who drowned herself.

Do you know why?

Besides the fact that she is crazy.

Peter’s class discussed the Ophelia Complex. Her father talked her down, told her she knew nothing. Whenever she did start to understand something he would make it difficult again so he could regain power over her. Not a very nice dad. Ophelia would take in anything he said and accept it. She took in anything and everything.

Students (in university and life) often take in curriculum, take the test, and move on. We call this “read and regurgitate.” Like Ophelia, we often take in whatever or teachers through at us. We do the assignments, attend the classes, write the papers, and move on. We don’t consider what it is that we are accepting. We don’t process it or evaluate.

Peter and I joke about “being broken” because of our high school Japanese teacher. He taught us from the beginning “mirror theory” (the process of applying what the movie is saying to the perception of society. Aka ‘What is the message?’ or ‘hat is the artist trying to say?’). We had to write a paper on each film we watched in class using mirror theory. And we watched A LOT of movies. Now it’s only natural for Peter and I to analyze movies. We don’t even think about it, it just happens.

So what is the point of all these stories? I’ll tell you one more. Perhaps it will help.

Once upon a time there was a charming debonaire cowboy actor. His name is Hugh O’Brian, but most know him as his character Wyatt Earp. He went to Africa to help an Irish philosopher, Albert Schweitzer. Hugh had a blast! He loved helping the little African kids! All was merry and gay in the land. One night, before heading back to the states, he stayed up talking with the wise old sage, Albert. They had become friends and Hugh was learning so much! He asked wise Albert what he could do to help the world. What is the most important gift he could give? Do you know what Albert said?

“Teach kids not WHAT to think, but HOW to think.”

That’s what all this rambling is leading up to. It is SO important to know how to think. Ophelia did not think, she just learned. I have been taught this principle since I was very very young, and I have been teaching others since I was at least 16.

Schweitzer and Shakespeare sure are smart thinkers. It may take some practice, I am still practicing myself, but thinking is wonderful and it will get you far.

If you have any questions or wish to know more,just leave a comment below and I will get to you.

Until next time!

P.S. How do I know the story of Hugh and Albert? Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership is an organization dedicated to Schweitzer’s philosophy of teaching young minds how to think, not what to think. It’s very service orientated. If you are interested, you can visit the website, or if you have a freshman or sophomore in high school, talk to a counselor. It’s literally life changing. They are always in need of donations, of any kind. (It’s non-profit, so you can get a tax-write off for you or your company.) I’m currently associated with HOBY Utah, if that makes a difference.

Here’s a picture of me (17), Hugh, and my dad. How this picture came to be is a whole other story.



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