27 July 2014

Edumacation, no, education

Have you ever considered how lucky you are that you can read? And by that, I don't mean how lucky you are that you can read this blog. The fact that you are reading it is in your own fault; however, I thank you. But have you ever thought about the gift that you were given when you were sent to school? Or even before that, when someone read to you? Who knew that stringing a series of letters together to create words would open up your world?!

The late Whitney Houston once belted out that learning to love yourself was the greatest gift of all. I would posit that she was wrong. A) Look how that turned out for her and 2) the great gift of all is learning, or in the immortal words of one Homer J. Simpson, 'an edumacation.'

What if you couldn't read? Write? There are still too many of our brothers and sisters around the world that live without those gifts. They are consigned to a life of poverty. Some might argue that since that is the only life they've ever known, what's the deal? Here's the deal - think about that one time the words on a page you were reading leapt out at you, grabbed you, and never let go. Think about that time when you used something you'd learned in school to figure something out. It feels good. Think about being inspired by something you've read that spurned you on to do something. That happened because you could read. Because you'd been to school. The ability to read, to learn - all the gifts of education - are things we should not take for granted.

I just finished reading a book by Adam Braun that has gotten me in a twist about education. He is the founder of Pencils of Promise, an organization, while non-profit, that invites you to invest in education of children around the world. What they are doing makes a difference.

I've added two links to the blog where, if you choose, you can donate to Pencils of Promise or Room to Read, another organization whose goals are to invest in the education of children globally. I don't do this lightly as this blog is not a commercial enterprise (seriously, have you read much here?). I do this in order to share what these two organizations are doing. It is powerful and it is good.

I can't imagine a world where I hadn't learned to read or write. I can't imagine a world where I didn't get to read to my children when they were babies, introducing them to the beauty of the written word. I can't imagine, even in my doughy middle-agedness, not having the opportunity to still learn. How fortunate I've been and how fortunate we are that we have had these opportunities. I count that as a blessing each and every day.

No comments: