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The Aleph
(Jorge Luis Borges)

Answer quickly: do you want your child to be a winner, or to be happy? Probably both, as all parents do, but the ladder to championship gets so narrow as you climb it that happiness becomes useless ballast. Of course, you could ease the way for your child. With the proper tools, winning could be a piece of cake. Take, for instance, the Aleph. First reported by Jorge Luis Borges, an Argentinean writer, the Aleph is a small sphere that allows you to see everything in the universe, present and past, big and small. From the nasty secrets of the politicians to the untold stories of the world to the little secret of your puppy love. Everything. If knowledge is power, the Aleph could give total power to your son or your daughter, making him or her a full winner. Maybe that is what you want, maybe not. Some say that we want our children to be winners because that will prove that we ourselves are winners. What this story tells us is that we should be grateful not to be total winners. The Aleph, a see-it-all device, is the central tool of a fantastic story written by an almost-blind man to make us think that if knowledge is power, then not knowing may bring happiness. When the character of Borges? story looks into the Aleph he learns many secrets that may serve him well, but he also gets to read his girl?s love letters to another man, and triumph becomes despair. In his blindness, Borges sees what we usually choose no to see: an Aleph is better hidden beneath the stairs, where nobody can find it in the following centuries, for total knowledge does not necessarily mean total power; instead of that sometimes it means total lack of ballast, letting the wind take you wherever it wishes. And that is neither triumph nor happiness.

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