Thursday, February 28, 2019

Has literacy been redefined

In all aspects of life, work and personal, it would appear that we have lost the ability to communicate what we mean in a way that we are understood by others.

At university, I learned a very important lesson in this regard. Many of us who ordinarily would get outstanding grades when we did accounts, struggled with financial management. It was so bad that it prompted the lecturer to have meetings with us to determine why this was so. The struggle was real.

During our first meeting, he asked me a series of questions. Among all the questions that we asked, he then gave instruction, "Show me how you read". At first, it seemed strange. How do you show someone how to read?

As I was observed reading, the lecturer then said to me that he saw where I was going wrong and showed me a technique for reading. Using this technique, it would feel as if the words were burned into my brain via a laser. More than that, I remembered what I had just read with clarity and understanding that I had not experienced in a lifetime.

It made me realize somethings:

  • Reaching the university level does not mean you can read. 
  • Being able to recognize and pronounce words is not reading, it goes much deeper into the comprehending of what was read and the interpretation of what is meant by the author communicating the message. 
  • Over the years, I have realized that people who struggle with reading and ultimately self-expression quickly resort to violence as an outlet.
Can this be a reason why there is so much conflict within our society? Is this responsible for people resorting to violence as a solution since they cannot communicate effectively?

I remember taking a writing class with people who wrote novels and was told that I don't have what it takes to write novels, I'm more suited to business writing. A gentle let down if there's such a thing. Nonetheless, I persevered. My intent is not only to improve my writing, but my communicating on the whole. 

There are so many who have not grasped the rudiments of grammar, sentence structure and all the other linguistic techniques. There are so many publications saying what not to do, I read them since I believe that if you know the rules, then you know how to break them; did I write that? I really meant to apply them properly. 

Let's do better to see if we can enhance our literacy. Perhaps in doing so, we would improve our society as well. 

I welcome feedback. It helps with improving my skills. Why not jot me a note. Thanks for stopping by for the read. 

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