The Power of Reading

The past week saw #WorldLiteracyDay and #ReadABook trended on social media platforms. I’m always happy when reading gets some love from the masses!

Literacy has been a special cause to my heart. Reading has been a part of me since I was young and I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love to read.

I definitely attribute reading to shaping me as a person, helping me through college, getting jobs, meeting friends and traveling. I don’t want to think about the person I would be if I didn’t read. I know I wouldn’t like that person.

So it breaks my heart when people say that they don’t like reading. What breaks my heart even more is when people don’t have the opportunity to read!

World Literacy Foundation estimates that one in five people can’t read. Thing about that: 20% of the world population can’t read. And don’t forget that in many places around the world, young girls find it challenging, even dangerous, to go to school. That is another important topic for another blog post.

Literacy is not just linked to doing well in school and having a healthy hobby. World Literacy Foundation has found that literacy has very important benefits:

  1. Employment. Literate individuals have shown to have more career opportunities and are more likely to fight for equal pay and fair working conditions.
  2.  Lowered Crime. Given the gift of reading, literacy can encourage people to stay out of crime and improve their living situation.
  3. Health. Literacy increases a person’s access to health resources and helps them understand, and practice, health information in their personal lives.
  4. Gender Equality. Women who can read are more likely to be leaders, vote and use their voices to help others.

These are important benefits of literacy that a majority of people do not know. Literacy is so important to a person’s life. It is a game changer. Unfortunately many people take the gift of reading for granted. While many others are willing to die just to be able to go to school and learn.

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