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August 26, 2018

Educated by Tara Westover


I just finished reading Educated by Tara Westover. I first learned of this book by listening to Tara being interviewed by Jason Gots on the SUPERB Think Again podcast. It is a memoir of a woman who grew up in a family living WAY outside of society's mainstream, in the mountains of Idaho. That she would find her way out of the mountains and onto elite universities to not only gain an education but to write words that would educate the world is told with jaw-dropping accounts that I won't forget.

It's temping to classify uneducated mountain folks as bad, and educated university folks as good. And vice versa. It's tempting to speak with certainty about such things ... with zero tolerance for this, that and the other.

What this book presents is that doubt and uncertainty have a way of generating its own unique strength. And that what might seem like pure strength when in the presence of aggressive dogma and certainty and abuse ... is frequently not strength at all.

When I used to work as a social worker within child protective services, it never ceased to amaze me that kids ... no matter how severely mistreated, can never completely reject their families. The ones who tried to convince themselves that their families and histories didn't matter were the ones who suffered most of all.

I am inspired to look at Tara's education as a call for my continued education ... to never stop inquiring, to constantly learn, to welcome doubt, and find ways to become better educated in order to better understand me, my family, my world.



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