Monday, November 08, 2010

THANX | 08- Thanks God for words

Parent: "Eat your supper"
Child: "But I HATE this, it's so YUCKY!"
Parent: "Eat. There are children starving in Africa (India, China, name the country or continent)

That's an age-old scene, isn't it? But rather than use it to talk about hunger, poverty, or nutrition I want to use it as a metaphor for literacy.

At our school, we set aside 15-20 minutes a day to Drop Everything And Read (DEAR). What a LUXURY! What a treat! A gift! A joy. Read ANYTHING. Have a chunk of day where you don't have to work on homework or take notes or run laps- just read.

Yet every day kids moan and complain. Do we HAVE to? It's so BOOOOORING! I HATE to read.

Think about the rest of the world for a minute. How few kids have access to school, let alone books? How few people on this planet even know how to read? And then consider how many people on this globe aren't ALLOWED to read, or have what they are permitted to read severely limited?

During medieval times almost no one in Europe could read, monks who worked as scribes, a few super rich royals, some of the earliest bankers and lawyers. Even many priests and monks couldn't read. Books were either so valuable as material possessions or thought of as so dangerous for their potential to inspire people to think for themselves- they were literally locked up.

Martin Luther advocated universal public education because you have to be able to read in order to be able to read the Bible and have a personal relationship with God. Yet how many of us who call ourselves Christian crack our Bibles open, blow off the dust, and bother to read them very often?

So thank God if you can read.

Frankly, I could've (and I suppose should've) made this a really short post because I was just thinking about how thankful I am for books. Mysteries, satires, and poetry. I love reading- and it goes without saying (from how long this post has become) I love writing.  Book stores, libraries, online book sharing clubs, Amazon, audio books, and now ebooks and blogs, magazines and websites. Letters! Emails! Texts & Twitters!

Thank you God for words, and as long as I'm at it, thank you for Your Word.

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