The other night my wife came home after catching the beginning of an interview on NPR. After telling me about it I quickly went online and found the podcast for Kaity Kline with LaVar Burton on A1.
I am very eager to share this with you, I consider LaVar to be one of my childhood hero in many ways I grew up with him. I watched him as Geordie Leforge on ‘Star Trek: Next Generation’, as the host for Reading Rainbow, and in a brief clip at the beginning of Charlotte’s Web.
As one of the few celebrities from my childhood that I actually remember, it is not uncommon for me, to this day, to get excited about something simply for the fact that he is involved.
LaVar has a history of showcasing diversity in a beautiful way, which makes uniqueness special, and helps people to embrace their differences and come together, adding strength to each other, and to our communities.
I will never forget when in Next Generation season one episode ten “Hide and Q”, Commander Riker, given the power of the Q offers Geordie to be able to “see” by repairing his vision, allowing him to see “normally” without using his visor, something the character of Geordie Leforge had always dreamed of. I was very young when I first saw this scene, and Geordie’s refusal of Riker’s gift confused me more then any of the others.
Eventually, I came to understand what he meant when he said “The price is to high.” because, being “normal”, and fitting in, is not worth forgetting who you are, or leaving others behind.
This is only one example of the way LaVar has inspired me as a public figure. I can also recall learning important lessons about hard work, friendship, patience, and other life skills from the stories he shared on Reading Rainbow.
As the host of the show, Lavar Burton not only shared with us stories. But he also helped us break them down into what they mean, and made them real. Helping us to develop critical thinking, and empathy with both the characters, and each other.
In the broadcast, he not only talks about his history with television, and education, we also get to hear hear his take on the current state of literature, and fiction. As well as his views, and opinions on current events going on in the world, and what we can do to encourage and celebrate diversity today. I’ll stop there so I don’t spoil it for you. You should definitely take the time to listen to.
Listen to him read by following this link: http://www.levarburtonpodcast.com/