Hitler’s Canary

Lillian - Golden Valley, Minnesota
Entered on June 2, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

“Because I said so.” Among the entire English language, those four words are some of the words I dislike the most when put together in that order. For what kind of reasoning and justice is there in those words? What gives people the right to order others around because of perhaps their seniority or position? The answer is, there is no right. When you get to a certain age, nobody really understands what is truly best for you, except for one person, you. Guidance is helpful and appreciated at times, but in certain circumstances, it’s up to you to decide what happens. I’ve come to a conclusion that I believe in questioning authority.

I remember reading a book called Hitler’s Canary. It was about during World War II, about the Danish. The Germans had invaded Denmark and all the Danes did was obey, do as they were told. Soon, Denmark became known as Hitler’s Canary because it was like Hitler had them captured in a cage and could tell them to do anything without resistance. Eventually though, something caused them to stir. That little something, whatever it was, started a rebellion. Like a flame, it was fed, and it grew and grew which eventually formed into resistance that saved thousands of Jews. Through, persistence and strength, the Danes stood up to Hitler and his army, making a difference in the war, helping those who could not help themselves.

By reading that book, it helped me to see that I can do the same. Even for the unfair, little things that authority figures tell us to do that may seem inconsequential, question them. Even by challenging the small things, it can have a bigger outcome. Look what the Danes did, and what they achieved by standing up to those who thought they were better than them. It started out by maybe just shunning the Germans, something small, but grew to something much bigger, that made a huge impact on everyone.

And for those adults and parents out there, remember, kids are not “bad” or “disobedient” just because they don’t do something that you tell them to do. They are merely just standing up for what they believe is right and just. I am not saying let people get away with everything, but it is good to practice questioning things, people, and ideas.

I believe in that only I know what is best for myself. I believe that rebellion in some cases can be good. I believe in standing up against those unfair things in life. Most importantly though, I believe in order to achieve these things you must question authority. So when a teacher says something that I don’t agree with, I question them. I prove them wrong. I fight back. This I believe.