March is National Reading Month, a whole month designated to encouraging Americans – and by extension Wacoans – to read! The Act Locally Waco blog is beating the drum for National Reading Month by hosting a blog series throughout the month of March, called “Books Matter.” Every day throughout March we will be sharing a post about a Waco resident and a book that matters to him/her. Thank you to students from the Baylor Department of Journalism, Public Relations and New Media and professor Amber Adamson for help with this fun project. To read all the blog posts so far, click here.
By Kate Nelson
Alan Bond, Baylor University’s Student Government External Vice President, explained how the autobiographical Holocaust book, Night by Elie Wiesel, had an impact on his worldview and his perspective on leadership.
Night describes Wiesel’s experience in the Holocaust, where he was interned in the concentration camp Auschwitz from 1944 to 1945.
“Seeing it in the perspective of the Jewish man, Elie Wiesel, I was able to see first hand, from a first person point of view, what the people went through, all the hardships. I could just see what people are pushed to and who follows who,” Bond said.
Bond was not only shocked at the crimes committed during the Holocaust, but also how truly influential a leader can be.
“It shows me a lot about leadership. With Hitler, everything he did for people who followed him is crazy to me. How can someone follow someone like him and do these terrible acts?” Bond asked.
Bond also gained understanding about the effect leaders can have over people, despite how bad that leader may be.
“Reading a book like that is shock treatment. It brings you into the harshness of society and the things that can happen to you, and the people around you, and how leaders can influence a great many people, for the better or for the worse,” Bond said.
While Night had a clear impact on Bond and his worldview, he went on to explain why literacy is important in a broader context.
“Books matter especially in a university setting. You’ll learn about not only the society you are in, the history about yourself, the history about the world, but it’s also more contemplative … you learn a lot more about yourself,” Bond said.
Bond’s comments on Night show the importance of literacy in developing an understanding of the world, its history and the role people play in it.