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The Stranger I Met Today

If kids are passionate about something, encourage them. Challenge them to learn and grow. If you don’t, you’re stunting their growth and encouraging complacency and ignorance.

“What do you know about these things?” a woman recently said in general, not really to me, just in my general vicinity. 

Her prominent sneer was the first red flag. I’m a friendly gal, so I made eye contact with her and she kept talking. 

“I’m looking to buy my granddaughter one of these e-readers. I don’t care which kind. My granddaughter reads a lot and I’m tired of having to buy her so many books.” The surly woman seemed annoyed that she was even speaking to me, despite that fact that she initiated our little exchange.

“Then maybe an e-reader would work out for her. What types of books does she like to read?” I asked. 

“I don’t know. She reads anything. Her teacher says that she reads at a 10th-grade reading level. She’s only in fifth grade.”

“That’s fantastic,” I replied because that is truly fantastic. 

“No, it’s not. I read at a higher grade level when I was her age too. What’s the big deal—what’s reading good for anyway? It doesn’t get you anything.” 

That was precisely what she said, as matter-of-fact as if I had asked her about her car’s fuel efficiency or what type of lightbulb she uses at home. 

My insides actually ached for a split second because I heard this woman say that.  Reading doesn’t get you anything. REALLY?!!!??!?!? Reading doesn’t enrich your life? Reading doesn’t help you develop critical thinking and reasoning skills? Reading isn’t like exercise for the mind? Reading doesn’t promote imagination, which is crucial in everyone, especially children? 

I replied swiftly and honestly. I owed that to her granddaughter. 

“It most certainly is fantastic. I hope she continues to love to read. You get a lot from it. Buy her the e-reader and buy her books. As many as she wants.” 

Lesson Learned

I know it’s the holidays and I should be learning lessons about generosity and kindness. Hopefully, I can include some of that in next week’s post. But this past week, I learned that some people are narrow-minded and often forget how their own stupidity can impact others.

Reading doesn’t get you anything. Hmmph. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Darren Gladden December 14, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Nice read .... Thank God I learn who to read , but spelling I strongly Dislike ......Hey Frank read what she has got to say and Learn something would you Tax Man...Peace Out Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
Angela Speakman December 20, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Thanks for reading the post and taking the time to comment, Darren. Happy Reading and Happy Holidays!

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