Thank You, Mr. Durbin!
I began my high school career at Bradwell Institute in Hinesville, Georgia. Despite sounding more like an asylum than a school, the name connotes the school’s nineteenth-century origin as a private boarding school. The requirements for freshmen were different than those of the high school to which I would transfer a year later, Union County High School (Blairsville, Georgia). As a result of these different standards, I took UCHS’ sophomore-level social studies class during my freshman year at Bradwell Institute. Thus, as a sophomore at UCHS, I had to take the freshman-level social studies class. Therefore, I sent half of my sophomore year digesting civics and the other half assimilating economics. My teacher for these subjects was Bryce Edward Durbin, Jr. We knew him, of course, as “Mr. Durbin.” I believe his colleagues referred to him as “Ed.”
Mr. Durbin was passionate about the subjects he taught. One source suggests that a passionate teacher is more likely to be recalled by former students later in life. Indeed, there must be a reason why we can all fondly recall some teachers from our youth but have wholly forgotten even the faces of other teachers.
(Just as an aside, I have taken the time to write down all of the names of teachers I can recall: a baker’s dozen. Two of those names I can remember for “negative” reasons, Mrs. Boyd and Mrs. Stover. My pregnant kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Boyd, paddled me every day. Yes, I deserved it. My parents had allowed me to be a free-range child because of my ADHD. I did not sit in a chair before kindergarten. Mrs. Stover was my first-grade math teacher at an elementary school in Sylvester, Georgia, where my enrollment was at the time. In Sylvester, the school followed the latest fad in teaching and broke up those students scoring higher academically into four blocks throughout their day. So, despite being a first-grader, I had a dedicated math teacher. I wonder if Mrs. Stover came from a parochial school since she employed a ruler as a disciplinarian tool? She would smack your hand if you did such things as count on your fingers. I think my distaste for math was likely born from this experience.)
Mr. Durbin took the time to instruct us about the differences within the economic systems existing around the world. He contrasted the differences between capitalism, socialism, and communism. I recall an illustration Mr. Durbin provided that made an impression on me. He created a hypothetical situation in which the state provided me a car. After having to wait for many years, I finally secured a personal vehicle as well. Here was Mr. Durbin’s question: which car do you treat with more care? Given the instruction of my background, which stressed obedience to authority, I sheepishly replied, “the state’s?” Mr. Durbin gave me a puzzled look. “No, you wouldn’t. You would take better care of your car.” And do you know what? He is correct.
I admit that it took many more years for me to appreciate what Mr. Durbin had taught me. We take for granted what is given to us freely. (Sadly, we do the same even with the abundant riches we receive from God.) Yet, we cherish those things we earn ourselves, guarding them zealously. (“This is mine!”) Socialism and communism originate from a false premise that human beings will operate from altruism, putting the interests of the collective first. In other words, I will work hard to pay for your food and medicine and trust that you will do the same for me. It has been tried countless times in other countries but has always failed. Even so, the academians, community organizers, and rabble pushing for it here still insist that we, Americans, can get it right if we implement it.
As much as I enjoy Star Trek, I always found Gene Roddenberry’s depiction of the future unrealistic in that regard. I believe that we can eventually build starships that can probe deep space. I think we can have phasers and photon torpedos. We may be unable to transport people, but we discovered that the quantum transportation of data is realistically possible, thanks to quantum entanglement. Regardless of how technically advanced, we become, however, we will not become the people Jean Luc Picard describes to Lily in Star Trek: First Contact.
Picard: “The economics of the future are somewhat different. You see, money doesn’t exist in the 24th century.
Lily: “No money? You mean you don’t get paid?”
Picard: “The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity.”
Uh, no. I am glad that after Roddenberry passed and others took over the franchise of his legacy, they showed us a more realistic depiction of the future in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Whether or not we ever meet extraterrestrial life, you know in your gut that there will always be those like the Ferengi, driven by the acquisition of “gold-pressed latinum.”
As I watch the news and see cities burning and a group using sympathetic civil rights slogans to obscure their Marxist ideology, the debt I owe to Mr. Durbin is clear. He explained things to me at the tender age of 15 in a way I could understand. His instruction in civics and economics opened the door to the adult I became. I posited in a previous post that younger people today had not been taught history. At least, they have not been taught history properly within its context. I dare say that these same ignorant youth have likewise never had a Mr. Durbin to illustrate for them the realities of the various economic systems at play in our world nor the appreciation for the brilliance of our republican Constitution.
So I thank you, Mr. Durbin. I have lived long enough to recognize the wisdom of your teaching. Now, I hope that what you taught me wins out as we move into our future over the Orwellian alternative offered by the socialism-loving, culture-canceling, ironically-naziesque-though-they-claim-to-fight-such thugs.
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Hi, my name is Brent. Christian. 親日. ENFP. Music lover. I've channeled my ADHD into becoming a generalist. I enjoy writing and illustrating.