I can read

I was watchig this video and my first thought was


But then I had second thoughts about both the stealing and the subject, because as much as I love making lists about things (an OCD complex that deserves a blog post of it’s own) what stood out for me in this video was those three little words:

I can read.

Reading is one of those skills that gets seriously undervalued. Like, to a point where I start to think it’s shamefully undervalued.

When I was five and met my kindergarten teacher for the first time, I can distinctly remember one of the first things I said to her was that I wanted to read and write. Screw maths and drawing pictures, words were all I wanted out of a formal education! Because five year old me knew, so much better then eighteen year old me does, how frustrating and limiting it is to not be able to read. I wish I could go back and high five five year old me for realizing that and making sure that my kindergarten teacher would take steps to teach me this divine and deeply coveted skill.

At seven years old, reading was still a valued and carefully harboured skill. This was because of my brother, who would tease me because he could read big books while I couldn’t only read kids books. I was determined to prove I was every bit as good as he was, and so undertook the challenge presented to me to read cover to cover one of my brother’s favorites, Just Stupid by Andy Griffith. May I pat my myself on the back for a moment and say CHALLENGE COMPLETED? Yes I can.

I don’t know at what point I started to take the skill of reading for granted. Was it in high school, when I had to read so many books that it became a task rather then a joy? Was it because on mastering the skill I grew bored and moved on to other things?

I’m not sure. But I know it happened, and it’s only right now that I’m realising with complete clarity just how severely I have been undervaluing the fact that I can read.

So, to finish up, the point to take away is that reading is awesome, and I plan to continue to read way too many books in hope that somehow, it will eventually make me into the kind of moderately intelligent person I want to be, not just an idiot who doesn’t know anything.

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