Importance of Literacy Literacy is the ability to think critically and understand what is being read. Illiteracy is a major problem in our society today. Without the ability to read, we cannot perform many common duties, some of which include driving, identifying medicine dosages, cooking, and teaching our children. Being literate is necessary for making an impact on today’s society. To be successful in today’s society, it is a requirement to become literate. We have to be able to read every day in our society. Without being literate, we cannot move forward in our day-to-day lives, or perform day-to-day activities such as driving.
Driving a motor vehicle requires reading. Illiterate drivers would not be able to read signs on the road. Although they could remember pictures, if they do not know how to read, they would not be able to read street signs to know where they are. This could lead to a driver being lost or even a car accident. Also, in the state of Oklahoma, for example, students are required to pass the eighth grade reading test in order to obtain a driver’s permit. So have we as a state, not said that we expect our drivers to read at least on an eighth grade level? Car insurance would also be a problem for the illiterate.
Without being able to read the requirements about car insurance they could get fined or have their license revoked. An illiterate person would not understand the importance of insurance or be able to evaluate different insurance companies. Our society requires us to be able to read and understand important documents such as, eviction notices, monetary statements, and job applications. Without being able to read these statements we could lose our homes. Without being able to read a job application one cannot expect to get a job. Few employers will hire someone without a resume.
Without being able to read we would not be able to complete a resume. Without having a job we would not be able to make money. This lack of money could lead to an eviction from our homes. Another example of a problem caused by illiteracy is the inability to correctly identify how much medicine to administer when one is sick. Without being able to read the labels or dosing chart on the bottle, one would not know how much medicine to take, which could lead to either taking a lesser amount than needed or taking too much, resulting in a possible overdose.
This problem could affect children as well. Without being able to read a prescription bottle, a parent could not administer the correct amount of medicine for his or her children. Parents who are illiterate are unable to help their children. They are not able to perform daily tasks for their children. Illiterate parents are not able to help their children with homework, and cannot teach their children how to read. Their children could fall behind in their education without a parent to help them at home to become literate.
If a parent cannot read the directions on food labels, then he or she could not cook for his or her children. We need to have a desire to become literate to better ourselves, not only as people or parents but also as citizens in our society. Parents would need to have a desire to become literate to help their children to become better people in our society. We, as a society, need to have the desire to become literate. Both Malcolm X and Helen Keller had a desire to become literate; if they had not had that desire they would not have made as big an impact on American history and future generations.
Malcolm X made a difference in history, though he was in prison. He had enough desire to become literate and to make a difference that he worked hard and taught himself to read and write. Helen Keller was in a different type of prison than Malcolm X. She was imprisoned in her own body. She could not see or hear anyone who tried to teach her. She had a strong desire to change the world by becoming literate. These two teach us that we have to have a desire to become literate, and that if we are literate we can make a difference.
We all want to make an impact on our society. We want to make an impact in our jobs, our family, and our community. If we are illiterate, we cannot make those impacts. Illiterate people will always have the handicap of having to have someone help them in their daily life. In conclusion, literacy is a part of everyone’s daily life whether we realize it or not. Some of us take advantage of the privileges that we are given to become literate. Being literate is necessary for making impacts such as Malcolm X and Helen Keller.