Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The World Is Flat

Certainly what stands out the most to me from Friedman's book is how its argument relates to the lessons that may have been learned from the events of 9/11. Up until 9/11, it seems as though many Americans were largely and blissfully unaware of parts of the world that harbored deep-seated resentment towards the U.S. and its policies. I remember watching the stunned looks of disbelief on the faces of so many people who could not fathom that the U.S. could be the target of such hatred. In Social Studies classes, prior to 9/11, it had not been unusual to hear students voice complaints such as, "Why do I have to learn about those people, that culture, those countries, etc.?" "Why do I have to analyze maps and memorize locations?" Interestingly, I have heard very few of those comments since 9/11. Most students now seem to get why studying other peoples, countries, cultures, etc., is important and relevant. The events of 9/11 definitely made the world a smaller place and, for many Americans, ripped away the insular world we had largely resided in since the end of the Cold War. Friedman's themes reiterated the points that it is necessary and relevant to all of us to be aware of the world beyond our borders.


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