BellaOnline Literary Review
Creater Lake by Al Rollins

Non Fiction


Luis Alcaide

Pencils in hand, in libraries across Las Vegas, I see young readers engaged in the act of reading, internalizing words, and it is my belief and hope that these young readers will in turn reciprocate with their own ideas and principles to guide us and future generations into an unknown future. I see them wrestling with diverse topics, their young hands massaging their fevered heads, their bleary eyes aching for rest, but their temporary pain is of no consequence to their capacious and extraordinary minds. These young minds are not to be underestimated, for when challenged they will astound even the harshest of skeptics. Should there be a skeptic out there who doesnīt smile in appreciation at the sight of a young reader struggling passionately with a book in hand. Though, I have never seen or heard of such a skeptic.

However, as a society at large, we might represent that harsh skeptic who is not appreciating these young minds and their educational needs. We with our misplaced priorities, we who insist that our construction projects should take precedence, we who claim that our "trickle downs" still might work, we who believe that it is our role to police the world. And who knows, maybe time will prove us, the skeptics, to be correct. But at what price? For when we are pursuing our construction projects and our "trickle downs," and our policing, our educational system slips down a few more rungs toward abject. Yes, Iīll concede that a strong economy is an imperative; but Iīll not concede that we as a society can not prioritize better.

The positive nature of education is sometimes abstract and often unappreciated, a puddle of life-sustaining water running through our cupped hands, impossible to quantify or precisely predict. Who will be our next educational superstar? I donīt know, but I do know that education will fuel not only this superstar but many like him or her, children who will not shrink at the sight of a challenge, for education instills in them an "I fear not" fearlessness.

Now it is our turn to learn or remember the lesson we were given in grammar, middle, and high school: the "I fear not" lesson that we seem to have forgotten. Remember when chemistry, algebra, and biology befuddled us to no end? Remember when we crowded into carrels and pushed our brains to excel, or rather when educational requirement pushed us to be our best? Back then, we didnīt fear and, true, we may not have been or aspired to be an educational superstar, but I am sure that we can all agree that todayīs children must have that opportunity to excel. They deserve it; we owe them that.

And again, itīs not that we shouldnīt consider other needs, for in this struggling economy we have many, itīs that we should prioritize with the full knowledge that education is a life sustaining need like water or oxygen or food or an "I fear not" attitude.

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Summer Solstice 2011 Table of Contents