The Observant Writer…. and literacy

What’s the deal with you and the Literacy thing? I mean everyone can read, right?

We lead such insulated lives for the most part. If you’re literate, you generally hang-out with equally literate people. Some of your friends may complain that they’re not very good writers, but then everyone knows writing is a specialty craft, so it doesn’t really count.

When you’re not literate and you hang out with normal working people who are, you try to hide your deficiency. It’s not like you want to advertise that you can’t read that well, or have trouble sounding out big words in your head, or have trouble understanding dictionary definitions once you locate the big words. Being honest about your literacy level could limit your workplace mobility, or impact the quality of your interactions with folks.

So most people who have limited literacy don’t advertise it. And they often cope by being really smart about passing as literate. They become astute observers and listeners to the people around them in an office, or a bus, or on the street. Limitied literacy is widespread in the western world. Little to no literacy levels is a world-wide issue that affects millions.

Don’t kid yourself into thinking that African, or Indian or Chinese non-literacy is ‘their’ problem. It is our problem too, because literate people can read to improve their lives whether it’s sanitation, the value of early childhood education or voting for their nation. Literacy for all people is an obtainable world goal that we should all be advocating for in order to discover how to co-habit on this planet in peace. Through our own active awareness and donations of time and money we can make world literacy a fact, and not the lack of it.

I hope that helps explain my passion for literacy.  And I do wish you good luck with your writing – Wordsmythe is here to help!