It’s important to be able to read.
Literacy rates have risen. No longer is it only nobility who can read. Almost every schoolboy and girl in America, can read. Sitting at 99 percent literacy rate, America is full of people who can read.
If you don’t know how to read, you will lose in writing. Not only in writing, but to writings.
Meaning you will lose to the written word as it will be used against you.
Maybe not now, but in the future. If not you then mayhaps your children.
For a light hearted example.
Let’s say you play the board game monopoly in your youth, you’ll get swindled by someone who can make up the rules. If all the literate people work against you, then you’ll lose.
An older brother or sister can make up rules and misread cards. If you can’t read the rule book, then what authority do you have to challenge their rule?
A more real example,
Law and court; the criminal justice system is rigged against those that are not able to read properly. A lot of lawyers can win by properly reading the law or even reading it in a different way.
Can’t use your rights if you don’t know your rights because you can’t read or never had the chance to read the written law. This is very problematic with foreign immigrants who don’t have a translator or representative to help represent them.
Judges and Jury have to interpret the law, in its written format. A mere letter, word, or fine print makes the difference between walking free and a prison sentence. To judge if the letter of the law or the spirit of the law is upheld.
Monopoly in real life.
The big businesses and large for-profit corporations are able to move in a direction to navigate the legalese of the laws to game the system into their favor.
Big corporations can hire lawyers, bribe people, and lobby to change the law to be in their favor.
Being able to hire proper secretaries and lawyers can help your company to adhere to Laws. Taking advantage of loopholes and other fine legalese. This can result in tax deductions, exemptions, and technicalities that allow shortcuts.
Giving you the slight edge and advantage against your competitors. Being able to deliver favorably to your stock holders on your Quarterly reports.
You see, the problem in this age is not in being illiterate. Rather the problem is not performing due diligence and using your literacy.
Not reading those terms and agreements.
Not reading a contract.
Not reading the syllabus.
Not reading a sign cautioning or warning of danger.
Using God’s words
What words are more powerful to mince than that of the supreme and almighty?
19th Century, Joseph Smith was a person who help make the Latter Day Saints movement.
Smith says he received divine guidance from an angel to uncover sacred texts written on golden plates. Only Smith was able to read the golden plates and transcribe it. This would eventually result in the Book of Mormon.
No one else could see the golden plates. The plates were constantly covered from anyone else’s eyes to see.
At one point, someone stolen the first 116 pages of the transcript during the making of the Book of Mormon. Then Smith had suddenly lost the ability to translate, thus losing the first 116 pages.
Later, by Smith’s account, the angel that gave divine guidance reclaimed the golden plates. The angel took back the golden plates. Smith had to stop transcription because the original golden plates were gone.
Smith later said he received new golden plates and was able to transcribe these plates. This resulted in a different book, the Book of Mosiah.
After the Book was completed, Smith returned all golden plates to the angel. So the plates were never to be seen from again. Well, to be fair, the only person who laid eyes on them was Joseph Smith.
I’m a bit skeptical about this whole bit, yet reality is often stranger than fiction, but I digress. You see, I perceive this as utilizing someone’s ability to read written words and make a divine proclamation. Regardless of use, someone was able to leverage their literacy, their ability to read, resulting in a large ripple effect and movement. A Religious sect of its own.
Whether or not Joseph Smith was able to divine these tablets and actually read them, or whether the tablets even existed, is up for question. The fact stands that he proclaimed the power of God’s words.
Besides the Biblical Moses divining tablets of commandments, we also have other characters who speak on behalf of god. Delivering God’s message.
16th Century, Martin Luther was a law student turned monk who knew of the written word. He saw preachers, cardinals, and bishops use the bible as a tool. He had a questioning attitude and realized contradictions to what is preached, what is done, and what is written.
The church would say things that weren’t in the bible and promise salvation. The common folk and peasants did not have the scholastic knowledge to read first hand. The common folk took the words of the ordained as God’s word.
Martin Luther had issues with the church along with the injustices he perceived.
His issues included the hierarchy of catholic church being rich asking for the poor to donate their wealth. Selling the light or faith to the poor, and selling indulgences. A form of paid redemption, allowing people to ‘pay’ their way into heaven by lightening their sins.
Martin Luther wrote his protest and posted on the door of a church, a 95 page thesis against the Catholic Church. This was later disseminated among those who could read. This lead to a movement and then a rebellion known as the Peasant’s war.
Martin Luther brought about a new age, with a new form of Christianity as a Protestant Reformation from the proposed lies of the Catholic church. Protestant because it is a protest, “Protest-ant”.
Someone analyzed the sacred doctrine and called other’s bluff. Catholics might have rationalized their conclusions after reinterpreting the texts. I’m not one to know who is telling the truth, only that people died for the things they believed in.
To reiterate, the problem in contemporary time isn’t in being unable to read. Rather the problem is the unwillingness to devote time to reading.
A Comfortable Laziness that has lulled us into a poisonous sleep. A soft gentle death grip that slowly and insidiously seals our fate. That is the comfort and privilege of laziness.
And, I would like to specifically emphasize that words are very important. They can mean life or death. Words can cause Holy wars, and rebellions. Words can lead to salvation, or impending doom and damnation.