This & That

Story published: 08-21-2013 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

It is important to know as much as we can to keep informed

By Jack Swift

I heard a joke many years ago that points out the inability of folks to know everything. It seems a man boasted that he and his brother knew everything. When asked a particularly difficult question the man replied: “That’s one my brother knows.”

Nobody can know everything, but it is important that we know as much as we can. That is very true when it comes to our government. The history of our government and the current functioning of it is one of the most important areas of knowledge that we can attain.

We learned about our government in school. I don’t know how it is today but I took the subjects of Civics, Economics, and other subjects that helped me to understand something about the U. S. Government. Most folks who have gone through the school system are knowledgeable about how our government works. What I would emphasize is keeping up with government and current events is very important. That has been true throughout history but I believe it is extremely so today.

I believe it is important to continue to read often. We are blessed with a variety of sources of information. We have an abundance of books, newspapers and magazines to choose from. And of course radio, television and the Internet. The most neglected of those sources I believe is the printed word. We can only wonder how many U. S. citizens are so caught up in the day to day affairs of their life that they never take advantage of the opportunity to keep up with what is going on in their community, county, state and federal governments. Of course the printed word is a great source of entertainment as well.

The first man to demonstrate the use of movable type was Johannes Gutenberg. He was a son of a noble family of Mainz, Germany. He had been a former stonecutter and goldsmith. He devised an alloy of lead, tin and antinomy that would melt at low temperature, cast well in the die, and be long lasting in the press. These could be arranged in the desired order to form a page and ultimately a book or other printed material. Gutenberg began printing the Bible in 1452 on borrowed money. Two hundred copies of the two-volume Gutenberg Bible were printed. The Bibles were sold in 1455 at a cost of three years’ pay for the average clerk. We certainly owe a debt of gratitude to Gutenberg for his great invention.

Books, newspapers and magazines are fairly affordable and they are a great way to keep up with what is going on in the various spheres of our lives.