Lies My Teachers Told Me
2 min read

Lies My Teachers Told Me

“For years we Americans have been fed the convenient lie: study hard, work hard in your chosen field, work hard at your marriage, save money, organize your flour, salt, and sugar into labeled bins, and you will be in control of your life and your destiny. But control is an illusion during the best of times.”

From the article How I Got Rejected From A Job At The Container Store, written by Deborah Copaken. It’s her personal story of how she came to be a staff writer at the website, and it’s one that I can resonate with. It’s not easy getting a job. Somehow, by grace of God and through the help of my friend, I’ve managed to land a contract position at a startup and will be leaving the craziness of retail life behind (right before holiday season, which is a big hallelujah, and hopefully will contribute to me not losing my holiday spirit this year. But probably not. Being the grinch that I am, I probably will still lose it and then find it again in the littlest thing.)

I know I should be grateful. I know I should be happy and excited – as excited as my assistant store manager was when I told her I got a full time job. “It’s in your field!” she exclaimed. “I’m so happy for you!” And she genuinely was, and it made me feel good that she actually cared for me as a person and not just as a worker. (My store manager was a little more reluctant to let me go, but understandable, because again – holiday season is upon us.)

The summer before junior year, we were asked to read this book called Lies My Teacher Told Me in preparation for my AP US History class. I did not like that class. The book was pretty interesting, though. It was all about how culture and time teaches history a certain way and colors it one way or another to influence the minds of young, impressionable children.

I wonder if I am still impressionable. Would the opposite of young and impressionable be old and jaded? I sometimes tell my friends I’m jaded, I tell them that we are all jaded. But are we? Are we trying to overcome our generation by pretending we’re more pessimistic than we really are, when we’re actually still holding out hope that this can’t be all, that there must be something better, that we still have a chance to live the life of our dreams?

Or is it all just a lie, and it’s better to just accept our fate now?

Control is an illusion. I guess as a Christian I’m supposed to say that God is in control. I really, really hope He is. I guess that is sort of faith, isn’t it? Having hope? I don’t know, but I really, really hope so.