A man opening a time capsule

I Opened a Vietnam Time Capsule Today

It’s cold outside. The walk from my car to the office was enough to make me never want to go outdoors again. As I clutched a hot coffee and fiddled with the keys to my door, I had a thought: if you stop too long in this world, you’ll freeze to death. The only way to stay alive is to keep moving.

I pushed the door open, unloaded my bag of books, and settled down for 60 minutes of reading. Today’s selection was an assigned text from my Yale Philosophy course titled Achilles in Vietnam by Jonathan Shay, M.D., Ph.D. It’s a psychological comparison between Homer’s Iliad and the trauma of the Vietnam War.

I’ve never been to war. It shocks me to think that major conflicts still happen around the globe. I live in a sheltered community, safe and oblivious to the hardship that takes place outside of my small town. I’m grateful for that safety, but I’m also terrified of the complacency I feel.

Through books, I can learn to have more awareness, compassion, understanding, and courage as I read about other cultures, races, and beliefs. I can have my eyes opened if I’m courageous enough to do so.

A book is the purest form of education. A human sharing their story of survival. It’s a time capsule of someone’s life and wisdom condensed, edited, and beautifully packaged – for you.

So open it.

Until tomorrow, read slowly – take notes – apply the ideas.


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