I usually read book recommendations from renowned people just to have an idea of what they are reading. Educated by Sara Westover, was recommended by different people from Bill Gates to Michelle Obama. Sara takes us through her life journey of being raised by radical parents that did not believe in a lot of things, including education and hospitals. She shares her incredible story of how she survived the abuse, torture to turn out so well educated and well adjusted. Throughout the book, she highlights how she drifted apart from her family as she moved more towards mainstream while her parents moved to the opposite side of the spectrum.
While reading Educated, it was hard for me to believe that her story happened in the 21st Century, worse still in America. Growing up in Uganda, not educating children seemed like a problem for developing countries due to both beliefs or a lack of means to send kids to school.
Through her story, Tara reminds us of the effects of the crucial issues of mental health, religion and the impact they have on a family. In so many ways, I could relate to her story, so many children, especially in Africa, are brought up to believe that their parents are always right and can not be questioned. This was represented in Tara’s relationship with her father. I think parents should let their children learn in their own way. As one Chinese proverb says “Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time.”
Besides, Tara’s will and firmness of purposes is a force to reckon with, stepping into a classroom later than most of us at the age of 17 and going ahead to receive her Ph.D. There are a few things that I take away from Tara’s story. First, we are in control of our destiny, raised among seven children under the same roof with “equal” opportunities are limitations, yet they all turned out differently. Secondly, the importance of education in giving people, particularly women their own voice and perspective.