A few years back, I lost my love of reading. It’s not like I set out to quit reading, but rather my reading material was not appealing to me. Technical manuals are somewhat dry to a guy who loves science fiction, fantasy, mysteries and the occasional autobiography. Then, there is the Commandant’s List of required reading. I am all for obeying orders, and doing what is necessary to achieve victory, however, I draw the line at “required reading.” As a newly minted private however, I had no choice but to read a few of the books on the list.
The first book I read in the Army was an autobiography, “About Face.” It was a fascinating read concerning the life of Colonel David Hackworth. The story was so engrossing, I often felt like I was in the frozen tundras of Korea fighting for my life and the lives of my friends. Instead, I was miles away in Texas, sitting in the cab of a truck trying to read the next chapter before lunch ended.
My second book to read off the “required reading” list was “We Were Soldiers.” This book holds a special place in my heart. I read it in Iraq while serving in 1/7 Cav. My dad served in 2/7 Cav in Vietnam. I’m having a hard time writing this, I will circle back and try to add to it later.
Sadly, my reading ability has been compromised by old age. Weakening eyesight causes the words to jumble together, and I am trying to adjust to my reading glasses. The book I am currently reading is 1984 by Mr. George Orwell. I am captivated by the correlation of Orwell’s imagination and the state of modern society. It draws an ugly picture of what the future may hold for us here in America if we can’t right the ship.
In 1984, Winston Smith does the unimaginable by compiling a journal of his own thoughts. It is such a radical undertaking; Winston resigns himself to his impending death. Of the thirty plus pages I have read, it seems the biggest issue in the novel is “double think.” I can’t wait to see how this dystopian novel will end. Perhaps, we should bring the classics back into the education system and make 1984 required reading. It seems to be a warning which echoes from the halls of the distant past.
I hate to cut it short, but there are other things on my agenda to get done today. Plus, 1984 isn’t going to read itself.
29 January 2020