I’m going to start this post with a question for you. When was the last time you read something and what was it?
The answers I receive always intrigue me but it is not the answers themselves that I find fascinating, it is the direction of thought this question evokes.
If I ask this question to adults, typically one of two things happen; either the question ignites a passionate discussion about the person’s thoughts surrounding the latest piece of fiction or non-fiction, or, the person becomes angry and annoyed stating that they have too much to do during the day with too many responsibilities. They can’t even imagine being able to sit down to read or listen to an audiobook other than their commute to work.
This is what intrigues me. Reading and/or listening to an audiobook are viewed as pleasurable by both parties. The former view it as a positive activity and it is evident in their passionate discussion, while the latter group sees their busy life and responsibilities as keeping them from the pleasures of reading and/or listening to words being read. Fascinating right?
Even more fascinating is when I ask this question to children of reading-age, especially my own son who is just learning to read.
When I ask this question to my son after my husband or I read a book or an excerpt from “Harry Potter” with him, his eyes light up. I’m expecting him to tell me the title of the book we just read, but instead, he looks at me with a smile proudly telling me that he read his “reading words” among them simple words like “the”, “a”, “I”, “me” and “we”. He feels that same positivity from reading as the adults to whom I ask the question. He becomes excited at the words themselves because he recognizes these words. They become familiar. They have power.
Sometimes my son tells me he read all day (which I know is impossible because we are doing other things) and I ask him what he means. He tells me that words are everywhere like street signs, t-shirts, ingredient labels, storefronts, etc. and he tries to sound them out and read them all. A lot of times he has difficulty and gets frustrated, but he never quits because “Words are important,” he tells me. And he’s right. Words are important whether written or verbal. They carry meaning. They can convey tone. They are a source of expression. They can both take down and empower. They can inspire. And while the old saying, “Actions speak louder than words” may be true, words are the catalyst for action to take place so be sure to choose them wisely.
For me, I always try to choose my words wisely and those that know me, know I always have a lot to say. I hope to share my thoughts with you and hope that my words serve to inspire.