What literacy means to me

Posted: Monday, April 17, 2000

Freedom! Loud and clear, plain and simple, literacy is freedom. If a person cannot read, a person cannot make an educated decision. Decisions vary from easy, and mundane, to difficult, and complicated. Do I want the hamburger with, or without cheese on the Bavarian bun, or the sesame-seed bun? Do I choose option "A" stating that the payments will be at 15% interest for 60 months, or do I choose option "B" stating the payments will be at 7.75% for 48 months? These are a few of the everyday examples one will be confronted with in life. If one does not know how to read, these choices might as well be written in a foreign language.

When we are given the opportunity to learn how to read, structure sentences, create letters, and perhaps even write a story, we are given freedom. We all have a different outlook on life. Our ability to relate this on paper is our unique fingerprint. No one else has exactly the same take on an idea. If an individual does not learn to read or write, that individual will be consoled to the thinking of the masses. Where is the freedom in this? Learning to read and write exemplifies freedom.

Reading is our ability to comprehend the instructions on how to install a new driver in your computer. Reading is the ability to make a choice. Reading is the ability to escape with a classic novel and be swept away in the fantasies of another individuals ideas. Writing is our ability to communicate our individual ideas or fantasies to another who is not present.

If we cannot read or write, we cannot choose, if we cannot choose, we are not free. Literacy is our choice for individuality and freedom.

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