“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” – Ray Bradbury
I couldn’t agree more.
So what’s this say about our culture when we’re not doing everything we can, to make sure all our citizens can read?
Given we’re a country who is supposed to stand on the ideals of “life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness…”
Given the negative impact illiteracy has on our economy and society – it impacts all of us, and our children, and their children…
It baffles me as to why we don’t make Literacy for All more of a national priority.
Is it too hard?
We’ve done harder things, for less return.
Would it take too long?
We’ve had long-term vision on many other initiatives as a nation.
Is it just not “sexy” enough, exciting enough, groundbreaking enough?
You know what’s a “turn off” and extremely unbecoming, ILLITERACY.
So what is it?
Made in “MYSELF”
How many times have you heard or read about people who are “self-made?”
Usually they are praised and looked at with the highest regard, like they are the special ones.
At the highest level, I get it, they came from “nothing”, sacrificed “everything,” took risks, overcame obstacles and succeeded… all VERY hard.
All this might be true but I’m confident in saying no one, no one, is “self-made.”
If you made a list of all the “self-made” people you know or have ever heard about, then made a list of ALL the people along the way who parented them, mentored them, invested in them, worked for them, encouraged them, supported them in anyway, that list, in many cases, would be more than a hundred times longer.
We get nowhere without the help of others. FACT.
Now, for the people who actually refer to themselves as “self-made,” no comment.
100 years from now
Time seems to shape our lives in a big way, applying measurement to the storyline of our existence.
Time helps us “organize” our past, present & future. But have you ever contemplated time before YOU, time after YOU? Maybe we can call that time BY, time AY?
Though time has not always been measured the way we do today, time has always existed, before, and after us, measured or not. Choices generated over generations before us have impacted who we are today, though we rarely think about it.
Consequently, our choices today will shape our future – family members and friends and society, far beyond our time here. And how our choices today shape our family members and friends into the future will determine how society and the world looks for generations and generations to come.
Have you ever considered how the choices you make today will impact the year 2122, if at all?
100 years seems like a long way away but still close enough to imagine, at least in the abstract.
What choices are you making right now, today, big or small, good or bad, which might be felt 100 years from now?
When we think of the word forge, we typically think of forging metals.
Forging is the process of heating, hammering, rolling, deforming, and finishing a piece of metal.
Under intense heat & pressure, forging eliminates internal voids/gas pockets which weaken metal parts, providing superior chemical uniformity and increased structural strength.
In other words, forging equals strength.
But as I’ve heard this word over the past week used numerous times, forge has not been used in the context of metals but rather…
- forging the future
- forging our relationships
- forging a new path
- forging ourselves
There’s no way around it, for anything to become better and stronger, including ourselves, we MUST be willing to embrace the pressure and heat life consistently applies – even when we don’t ask for it.
There’s no app for that, there’s no easy way.
So the next time you feel pressure and heat, try to embrace it,
you’re being forged, you’re being made stronger.
“Back in the day”
So over the past couple of weeks, I’ve reminisced a bit about what I miss about the 80’ & 90’s, the good ‘ole days. However, though it is fun to reflect on the past, I don’t believe these are our best days.
We must believe today, and the days ahead will be our best days.
Yes, I know, given current world events, our political climate, environmental concerns, world health and violence, it might feel like things have gotten worse, that today and our tomorrows will be our worst.
In a speech the night before his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reflected on the question of what point in history he’d like to live if given the option. In the speech, he mentioned a few moments in time which would have been exciting to experience but at the end of the day, he landed on the “right now.” Given the challenges of the day and the threats on his life, he still picked “right now,” remarkable.
I’m sure, given the circumstances, embracing the “right now” was not always easy for Dr. King.
However, it was his clinging to hope for a better tomorrow and optimism and ultimately sacrifice, which even gave us a chance for a better future.
Like Dr. King, we MUST believe our best days are ahead of us, and then be willing to sacrifice to make the ideal, real.
Though we still have a ways to go, the choices and sacrifices Dr. King made are still being felt 60 years later, and I’m sure they’ll be felt 100 years later and beyond.