Literacy – the ability to read, write and speak English – has been a passion of mine since 2012 when I took a course with the Literacy Volunteers of Monmouth County. I was training to be a tutor because I couldn’t understand a world where someone could not enjoy a good book. Over the years, I learned that there is much more to being literate.
It’s not just about getting lost in a good novel.
It’s about being able to read a job application or street sign.
It’s about being able to take your child or parent to the hospital and explain what’s wrong with them.
It’s about being able to pay bills because you understand what’s happening with your money.
It’s about being able to do what most of us take for granted.
My misunderstanding of being literate is not just my mistake – many people don’t understand the scope of the issue in the United States. For example, it’s not just immigrants that have the challenge of low-literacy; it’s many people born in America who made it through school without being able to read or write. Read Kim Davis’ story.
Why am I telling you this story and introducing you to Kim?
Because it is very simple to say that you’re a supporter of some cause or organization but to really understand the reason why that organization exists is far more challenging. We need to look beyond what is right in front of us and dig deeper to come to a true understanding of what we’re advocating with a check, a walk or run, or donating our time in some other way.
It’s not easy but it is worth it.
What cause are you passionate about? Do you challenge yourself, family, friends, co-workers to find something to engage their heart and minds?