There are archaeologists who dedicate their lives to trying to uncover little pieces of history. Sometimes, though, the greatest archaeological discoveries are made by ordinary people who stumble upon them by chance. Ironically, they find things that reveal more about the past than most professionals find in a lifetime of work.
Children don’t get to choose their families; they’re stuck with the parents they’re given, who will be a part of every experience they have and every trait they form.
When a child is born into the care of monsters, we tend to see the child as an extension of the parents. The children of tyrants often find themselves on trial when their fathers are deposed. Nevertheless, their lives can be every bit as terrible as for anyone else living under the reign of a dictator.
Joseph Stalin had three children—Yakov, Vasily, and Svetlana. Stalin’s children didn’t choose to be born into his family, but they were—and they lived their lives directly under under the scrutiny and cold cruelty of the USSR’s harshest dictator.
Our world is so fraught with men tearing down innocent lives, claiming to act on the will of God, that when two people from different religions help each other, it makes the news. We view a Christian helping a Muslim or a Muslim helping a Jew as something so unusual that it’s considered out of the ordinary.
It wasn’t always supposed to be this way, though. Peace is a tenant of every major religion. There are moments in history when members of the world’s religions have stood up and sworn to keep those who are faithful to another god safe and free.
There’s something strange happening right now. There’s a movement afoot, and it’s getting stronger and louder every second.
Take, for example, this letter from a teacher that recently made its way around the internet. “Research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance,” it reads, and promises, “There will be no formally assigned homework this year.”
It’s hardly the only one like it. Articles like it have been filling the internet lately, claiming that “homework offers no academic advantage” or calling on schools to “ban homework.” Even the people at Scholastic have written up an article called “Down With Homework!”
It’s catching on with parents, too. Some parents are writing articles saying that they won’t make their kids do homework in elementary school, others saying they won’t make them do any for as long as they live. And even Time Magazine is chiming in and telling parents that they “should not make kids do homework.”
This is an incredible, passionate revolution of parents, seemingly more motivated to change their children’s lives than I’ve ever seen before.
It’s also completely insane.
It’s great that parents are fired up over something, but we all need to take a second and calm down and think about what we’re saying.
Homework obviously offers an academic advantage. Your kids should be doing their homework. And you should be encouraging your children to do their homework.
If we don’t take a moment and re-evaluate, we’re going to ruin an entire generation. Because here’s the thing about all of these articles:
They’re lying to you.
World War II affected every person who lived through it. Hundreds of stories from that time have become part of our history, but there are millions more that have gone untold.
Even some famous names you know for something completely different had incredible experiences during the war. Most of their war stories get overshadowed by their more famous accomplishments, but these stories are so incredible that they deserve to be heard.
Great and powerful families have ruled over countless lives since the first civilization was born. There are empires that have stretched across continents and held power over billions of people.
Over the last 100 years, though, almost all of those empires fell. Revolutions around the world have cast out the people who once held that power, stripped them of their wealth, and left them to fend for themselves. Today, heirs to those empires live in ways that are incredibly humbling—and a little bit strange.
The writings of great men like Plato and Marcus Aurelius are studied today with the same fervor and admiration they enjoyed thousands of years ago. However, we often overlook the poor folk who lived ordinary lives and dealt with ordinary problems. Etchings from some of these men have survived thousands of years and give us extraordinary glimpses into everyday life in ancient empires.