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Friday, September 2, 2011

Reading Your Way To Freedom

On this date in history in 1838, Fredrick Douglass, dressed as a sailor and carrying identification papers from a retired merchant seaman, took two trains, a steam ship voyage before arriving in New York City.  He escaped slavery to become a freeman.  Settling in New Bedford, MA, Douglass became a great orator and one of the leaders of the antislavery struggle.
Back in those days teaching blacks to read was against the law in most southern states.  Douglass was fortunate enough to have a mistress who taught him the basics of reading, but the lessons were cut short by the master of the house who forbid further instructions.  Luckily, he’d mastered enough to continue to teach himself.
Essentially he learned and read himself a pathway to freedom.
“The soul that is within me no man can degrade.” – Frederick Douglass
The most important thing anyone can teach someone else is to read and write.  This movement to stop teaching cursive writing ranks up there with burning books in my opinion.  How will future generations read the Declaration of Independence for themselves?  Google, Wikipedia?
Teach your children to read.  There is so much out there to learn, and discover.  Literally everyone can learn from Fredrick Douglass’ example and attain their own freedom through knowledge.  So liberate yourself and read a book.  Become a revolutionary and teach someone else to read!!
The future will not be the traditional class structure of ages past.  The world is being turned upside down and inside out.  The new structure will be based off knowledge and intelligence.  Those who know how to do things and those who don’t.  Those that don’t will be the unskilled labor force of the new class structure.  With America ranking 36th in the world as far as education we need to be looking at education reform, paying teachers more, and stricter guidelines.  Every student must pass regardless of their ability is not working.
Some students are entering the first grade with a second and third grade reading level and either have to be advanced which may hurt them socially later in life.  Or be bored out of their minds and dumbed down to stay with their proper age class.
The teachers have to spend all of their time with the students who can’t seem to master the regular class curriculum or the trouble makers which leads to further harm for the kids who have learned.  It seems to penalize the students and parents who have worked with their children to teach them as much as possible in their most formative early years.  It is proven fact that children are able to learn at an exponential rate between 1 and 5 and still have fun, socialize with other children and even run and play outdoors.
The biggest contributing factor to higher intelligence in children is severely limiting their exposure to television and mindless video games.  Let them play, and be creative.  Parents who teach their children to take care of books and who read to their children.  Television is not a suitable baby sitter for your child unless your preparing them to become further wards of the government and permanent welfare recipients, or training them to work at minimum wage jobs for the rest of their lives.
I have an 20 year old daughter in college and two young boys at home, ages one and three.  When I get home from work before and after dinner my boys will bring me books to read.  They sit on my lap and listen to stories from beginner books to larger story books.  Some of the books we have read dozens of times.
A friend of mine from work, his oldest son learned to read and spent time in the evenings reading to his younger sister.  As a result they both are two to three grades ahead of their respective classes in their reading level.  The more you read the higher your intelligence and more knowledge you will get.
Someday you will get to the point where you have read so many varied things you will not know a blessed thing.  For the more you learn the more you realize you truly do not know.  The deeper and more advanced meaning behind ignorance is bliss.  For those that don’t understand this last statement, keep reading and learning and one of these days it will become crystal clear when you become truly ignorant.  In this case of ignorant we use the definition “Not knowing.”
Well if this doesn’t give you something to think about go back to trying to get three stars on every level of angry birds!!

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