This weekend I settled down for a lot of quiet reading time and really enjoyed diving into another world through the pages of a book. It made me realize how lucky I am to be able to read. Most of us take for the granted the education and learning we are offered. Not everyone gets that offer of education automatically. Illiteracy is still prominent and very much hinders many societies today from improving and growing. I was suddenly struck by the huge gap that exists. The fact that I can download books instantly, information at my fingertips to consume… all the while there are people who can’t even read the basic things that might be around them.
My mom is actually one of those people who can’t read English. Although through the years she has learned basic things living in America…you won’t see her snuggling up to a novel. She grew up in Vietnam and was already working in her teen years. It makes me a little sad, because I know she discounts her own knowledge of things because she never had a formal education. Perhaps that is why she always encouraged us kids to the do the best we can in school and make a better life for ourselves. But I’ve always admired how wise my parents both are…despite the lack of formal education. Ultimately they have always said that it’s about building a happy life…it’s like, they figured it out a long time ago…where as the rest of us are distracted by so many things – we don’t even know what we are working for anymore…we lose focus…
My parents are so conservative, coming from an entirely different time and world. But amazingly so liberal as well, letting us all forge our own paths, going to university and especially letting me roam the world and travel. Although they didn’t understand it completely, they always opened their arms to technology, advancement…and reading. We were always living on a tight budget, yet my parents always let me buy books. They never really said no… perhaps saying, how about buying just one novel from the book club this time around? As a kid I had never stopped to think about how weird it must have been for them…not knowing exactly what I was even reading or learning…but letting me do so nevertheless. Encouraging me onward…I’m touched by this realization.
So all these winding thoughts, to say how much I appreciate reading…books…to be able to learn anything I want through the written word. It’s pretty darn amazing. And these days, it really is at your fingertips…click of a button…download…and you are off into another world.