Library of Congress
"Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe." - Thomas Jefferson
I spend a lot of my time in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University and can without a doubt say that I take for granted a big, beautiful building full of books and a space dedicated entirely to learning. Libraries are so common on university campuses and in cities that we often forget that there was once a time where and still are instances where having access to information (much less the internet and anything else you could ever imagine ... instantaneously ... at your fingertips) was reserved for a certain elite portion of the population.
Having access to knowledge is power, but power is more so the ability to comprehend and challenge the given narrative and provide an alternate viewpoint. As Jefferson put it best when our country was in its developmental phases, the liberating power of free press is only progressive when this power is given to an informed citizenry. I found myself on my most recent trip to Washington D.C just marveling at the overwhelming quality of the architecture of the Library of Congress and thought it very much evoked the same kind of awe that access to knowledge can bring those who are curious.
Stay curious. The world needs more thinkers. That's what being a student means to me: it's not about memorizing facts and spitting back information, it's about redefining, refining and challenging my perception of the world and experimenting with different ways of framing a commonly accepted story to shed light on a new, innovative way of thinking.