Modern Ramifications of Illiteracy

People wouldn’t be reading 50 Shades of Grey, Bone or Steve Jobs.

That awkward moment of silence in church where a new song is sung and people can’t read the lyrics would increase.

IKEA instruction manuals.

People wouldn’t be able to comment on all of the annoying status updates they “saw” on Facebook, Twitter or a random blog.

More and more people would accept what they heard on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Bill Maher or Bill Moyers as the truth.

Libraries would become a place of scorn and embarrassment by the literate instead of a place of refuge and learning for all.

History would be rewritten to be concrete and clear as opposed to the paradox that it is.

Propaganda would be embraced for its entertainment value.

We would be okay with incorrect statements of equality such as 1% > 99%.

I am Grateful for Literacy

I am grateful to be literate. I wouldn’t be who I am if I didn’t have an insatiable appetite for reading and consuming knowledge.

As I become increasingly aware of my level of literacy, I embrace the reality that there are others struggling with the foundations of literacy.

With that, I offer these encouraging words from Jeff Smith, creator of Bone: “I learned to read because I wanted to know what was going on in Peanuts.”

I remember my dad reading The Chronicles of Narnia to me as a kid. I remember reading Stephen King’s The Stand, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, and thousands of other books over the years.

It has never been easier to read.

It has never been more difficult to find the time and necessary focus to read.

Literacy can start with comic books or reading to your kids.

It just takes the desire to know what Charlie Brown is saying.

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