Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's More Than Fundamental, It's Essential

Y'all know I love a good laugh, but you know what's not funny, at all? Illiteracy. I used to think it was a rip-roaring good time to point out people who couldn't read and make fun of them until I came across a 50+ year-old man who honestly asked me:

"Does 'tidy' mean you're always on time for stuff?"

Really? REALLY? That made me so sad. How do you not know what TIDY means? It's not a super-difficult SAT word like facetious or ephemeral or venerable. Fucking TIDY. Why doesn't he know that oh-so-simple word?

Is this why the unemployment rate is so high? What school let you get through without knowing what TIDY meant? Don't you read? CAN YOU READ? The questions that started to fill my head gave me such a migraine I can't even explain it. Because when stuff like that happens all I can think is "what can I do to keep this from happening again?"

What can I do?

How many volunteer hours at inner city community centers will it take? How many READ A BOOK blog posts must I write? Should I just start my own literacy program? How do I do that? Will I have to get ANOTHER degree to accomplish it?

Honestly I cannot imagine my life without words- reading them, writing them, knowing what they mean. That episode of The Twilight Zone with the dude who just wants to be alone with his books but then his reading glasses break? That's my worse fucking nightmare! Of all my senses I cannot live without my eyes. Or rather, I wouldn't want to.

Knowing your way around words opens SO MANY doors- didn't anyone ever take the time to give this man this crucial bit of information? Words are how The Man tries to keep us down with his legal jargon and mumbo-jumbo. You gotta KNOW what he's saying before your rights are taken away and you die penniless and freedomless. Didn't anyone take the time to tell him?

What can I do? Tell me what to do to prevent this from happening again because really, it hurts my heart to know there are more men and women and children like him all over the world. Just tell me what I can do...

*smooches...NOT OK with illiteracy*
seriously- if you know of a program or organization or charity or ANYTHING, let me know. I can't sleep now thinking about this shit.