On the Beat in Bluffton

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Freedom through words

Two students from Kingdom Academy recently earned tickets to hear Laura Bush's speech in Indiana on Thursday, Oct. 6. To receive the tickets, they had to write essays detailing the connection between literacy and freedom. You can learn more in Saturday, Oct. 15, News-Banner, and you can read their essays here.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines literacy as the quality of being literate, or able to read and write. Literacy, however, is much more than that. It opens to you the door to the world, a world full of opportunities all at your fingertips, waiting only for you to reach out and seize them. It commandeers your ship on the journey to achievement and success. It opens your eyes to everything around you and causes you to develop awareness. And, ultimately, it leads to freedom — a freedom from the bonds of ignorance and a freedom that allows you to stretch yourself to the farthest reaches that you once thought never possible.

Literacy is driving down the road and subconsciously reading the road signs as they speed by simply because your brain possesses the ability to do so. It is opening the newspaper and spotting a job opportunity which becomes the career of your dreams. It is opening a book and unlocking the swirling and mesmerizing array that is a character's actions, thoughts, dreams, motivations, hopes, sorrows, and victories. It is looking at a page of writing and seeing, not a muddled display of scratches and dots that seem to make no rational sense, but a sensible organized group of words and symbols that collaborate together to form balanced thoughts and ideas. It is, in a sense, being able to realize and unlock your true potential, giving you the power to utilize it to the full extent of your capacity. It is freedom.

Yet, sadly, there is an innumerable amount of people who do not hold the simple yet remarkable capability which you and I so often take for granted. So much potential is being wasted, owning to the simple fact that illiteracy is present. It rears its ugly head, distinguishing the light in so many eager and awaiting eyes, imprisoning countless in the shackles of helpless ignorance, and stealing away from them forever an untold amount of opportunities which could otherwise transform their lives.

The lack of knowledge and opportunity caused by illiteracy is a heavy chain holding down potential that is bursting at the seams, and literacy is the key to unlocking that chain. Laura Bush once said, "The power of a book lies in its power to turn a solitary act into a shared vision. As long as we have books, we are not alone." To unlock that power, however, we must first be able to read that book. Those who possess the ability to read and write many times do not know the immense gift they hold in their hand. We must realize and be grateful for the precious endowment that has been bestowed on us, and we must also do our part to endeavor to pass on this gift to others who are in want of it and to help set them free.
~ Anna Gerber, 17

Everyone has a dream. From the little child playing make-believe, to the elderly man sitting on his rocking chair. How do people live there dream? I think most people would agree that it takes determination, courage, and a strong will. However, you also need to have the capability to do it. You can't become an Olympic swimmer if you can't swim; and you can't become a famous singer if you've never had a voice lesson. You need education. Education gives you freedom to live your dream, and future dreams to come. Without education, your dreams stay just dreams, and may never be fulfilled.

Thomas Edison once said, "If we did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves." Everyone is capable of some sort of education. And with that capacity, people would truly "astound" themselves on what all they could accomplish. With education, people can meet their full potential; they can have a high assurance of their abilities. Suddenly, they may not only see what they have to do, but what they can do. They can dream to be anything they want to be. True, they need to have the will power to complete their dream, but with education, they can have the capability. A dream can become more than a dream, it can become real.

Imagine wanting to become a famous soccer player. You can be determined to become a soccer player. You can have courage to try out for the team. However, if you never learn the rules of the game, and never practiced; you would never become a famous soccer player. You have to learn at some point, you have to educate yourself, in this case in soccer. Now think of any other dream. There is something you have to learn in it. Education is important, because it is needed in life. Without a basic education, for example being able to read, it is next to impossible to be able to learn about your dream. So it is impossible to complete that dream. Education is not needed to dream a dream, but it is needed to live it.

Being educated does not only allow you to fulfill your dream, but the dream of future generations. A child's biggest role model in their life is their parent. In fact, when asked 100 teens, aging from 12 to 18, who their greatest role model was; 67.7 percent believe parents are the most important role models. (familybasedyouthministry.org) So if there is a parent who is uneducated, their kids might not think education is important, so they might not become educated. This could lead to them not following their dreams either, simply because they don't have the capability to. However, if a parent is educated and is following their dreams, a child will see this, and may follow their example. So, being educated effects more than just this current generation, but generations to come.

Everyone has a dream, but not everyone can complete it. It takes more than determination and courage; it takes capability. Being educated can help people live their dream, and can help future generations live their dreams by them seeing good role models. Dreams don't have to be something people just fantasize about. With education, they can become reality.
~ Rachel Towle, 17

No comments: