How many of you watch shows like Storage Wars or American Pickers? These shows have recently rekindled the history of America and are trying to teach people that their old “junk” is really a treasure. These shows show passionate people going all over the United States, looking at people’s possessions and telling them what they are worth and sometimes purchasing these items. But does it show more than just the worth of some old sign? Most definitely.
Each piece has its own story; each piece has its own history. For the first time in a long time, shows like this have Americans interested in American history. We are learning about the small businesses, and industry that kept this nation going over the past several centuries. It is important to keep this alive. The history books in school are not telling our children these stories. They give an overview of what happened a long time ago to a bunch of people they don’t know, and so our children aren’t interested. In a school in Tennessee, they actually spend three days only on the Vietnam war. Three days to teach our children the importance of respect and kindness to the homeless Veterans they see sitting in front of the grocery store begging for food? How ridiculous! Treasure hunting is a good way to make this history tangible to our youth, and the rest of us who have forgotten what we were once taught. Picking up a sign for War Bonds, or “Rosie the Riveter” and buying it, and selling it, is a great way to instill in our children, not only the importance on making an almighty buck, but the importance of human worth, and historical worth.
Give a child a first edition copy of The Diary of Anne Franke and tell them they should research it before they sell it, and see if it does not change their hearts when they see the faces of those affected by the Holocaust, and by the World Wars, and understanding what really happened. Watch their face when you take them to an auction house and watch the frantic bidding as their college fund just got bigger, and they see the importance of this little girl named Anne to the little Jewish Couple on the front row who cry when they win the book.
Treasure hunting can also teach our children the downfall of greed, and the psychological impact the Great Depression had on American people. When they see these people who have acres and acres of land that is covered in nothing but old junk, rusty cars, and nic-nak’s and the owners won’t part with any of it, teach them that many of these people survived the Depression in America with only the sack clothes on their back. Teach them these people hold onto everything they have because it has become a disease of fear. When you have lost everything, once you get it back, you don’t want to let anything go in fear you will need it some day. Teach them the importance of planning, making sound decisions, and resisting the fear of an economic downturn.
Treasure hunting has become a rekindled trend. It is one that is an integral step towards our own humanity and patriotism, teaching our children and our grand children history, humanity, and sound financial decisions. Pass onto them the passion of “junkin”, you may just find out they are better off for it.