OUR LIBRARY WAS GETTING REDONE. So out teachers were instructing us how to use the facility and understand the many new advances in library technology. I walked up and down aisles, looking at different books. After all, there was always another book report due and another free reading assignment around the corner.

That was when I looked down and saw a book titled Hitler and the Nazis. On the cover was a bold picture of Adolf Hitler in his Mercedes in one of his triumphant motorcade parades in Berlin or what I would soon understand as his recently annexed territories. As an initially lousy attempt at a joke, I claimed that this book would be my new read. And so, jokingly, in a school filled with Jewish students, I made an exaggerated ploy to read this book that I stumbled upon for my next presentation on library literature.

Then, because I took everything way too far, I checked the book out at the library circulation desk. That was when I sat down and really began to understand Hitler. Not so much the Holocaust and his role in all of it.

That was left out of this book, which focused on his rise to power and the military plans he executed in his plan to conquering all of Europe. This fascinated me on several levels. Firstly, given how little I knew about Hitler, the rush of information was fascinating. Secondly, I came to understand the importance of social interventions at their most basic level. When applied to a larger audience, they can truly be just as impactful as micro or small-time maneuvers.

These small maneuvers carried out on a grand scale made conquering the world seem very possible, even to someone like me, young J. Peters. After all, what young boy doesn’t want to conquer the world? I was no different. I was just learning how to do it from one of the most evil people known to man.

The question was, would I do it in the right way? Would I learn from Hitler’s mistakes ways? Or would I just make my own along the way?

Peters, J.. Wales Middle School: The Rise of J.Peters (p. 35). AuthorHouse. Kindle Edition.


J. Peters

J. Peters

Max Guttman '08, MSW '12, is the owner of Recovery Now, a private mental health practice. Through his work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, therapist and disability rights advocate, Max fights for those without a voice in various New York City care systems. He received a 2020 Bearcats of the Last Decade 10 Under 10 award from the Binghamton University Alumni Association. Guttman treats clients with anxiety and depression, but specializes in issues related to psychosis or schizoaffective spectrum disorders. He frequently writes on his lived experiences with schizophrenia. "I knew my illness was so complex that I’d need a professional understanding of its treatment to gain any real momentum in recovery," Guttman says. "After undergraduate school and the onset of my illness, I evaluated different graduate programs that could serve as a career and mechanism to guide and direct my self-care. After experiencing the helping hand of my social worker and therapist right after my 'break,' I chose social work education because of its robust skill set and foundation of knowledge I needed to heal and help others." "In a world of increasing tragedy, we should help people learn from our lived experiences. My experience brings humility, authenticity and candidness to my practice. People genuinely appreciate candidness when it comes to their health and recovery. Humility provides space for mistakes and appraisal of progress. I thank my lived experience for contributing to a more egalitarian therapeutic experience for my clients."

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