I cannot fathom what life would be like without literacy. It is something that comes so easily to me, and I live my day to day life taking for granted this incredible privilege I was blessed with. For some, this is a daily struggle. Literacy has embedded itself into every aspect of life, from books and signs, to ads and news. We are surrounded by words, that we have the option to glance at and read, or not, but it is at our leisure and our choosing, because we, for the most part, have the ability to read and write. The man in this video that I have attached was not handed the same opportunities I was. Why was I given grand opportunities, while others were not?
This man was visually frustrated and terribly upset that he could not read the book his son worked so hard on. How could he share in the joy, if he did not have a concept as to what was written? There are various possible reasons as to why he was not taught literary at an early age, that we are unaware of. Regardless of situations and circumstances that may have occurred in his life, he had a goal and through countless hours and dedication, he was able to achieve this goal. I felt pure frustration in my heart at the beginning of the video, thinking of myself in that situation. The thought that I could pick up a book and not be able to read what it says is heart-wrenching.
I can only imagine sitting down and having a book in German, per se, put in front of me, and told that I need to read it. What would I do? I was never taught German, I was not given that opportunity, how could I be expected to be remotely literate in this language?
Before even starting school, I knew the alphabet, could write my name, and could read simple books in English, because my family wanted to ensure that I would be prepared going into school. I was put into kindergarten at age five at a wonderful school, in the French Immersion program. Through my years at this school, and in this program, I quickly became literate and fluent in both English and French. This is a skill I was seemingly unaware that everyone did not receive, as I was surrounded by individuals who were given the same opportunities as I. The realization that I have many people in my life now who can only speak, read, and write in one language was mind-boggling to me. It’s rather difficult to wrap my mind around the idea of not knowing what I know now, because it’s all I’ve ever known.
I love school and learning so dearly, and truly enjoy my time in and out of the classroom. Constantly learning and growing in my skills, and my profound love of literacy continues to grow. I am certainly blessed, and fully aware in this moment that this skill that I possess does not come as easily to others. If I am able to help others, in my life now and my future career, pursue any sort of passion in this area or further develop their skills, I will be so content. I would love to see the world love and admire the beauty of words, just as I do.