|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Writing and reading”
Our Bible verse for today: “When he had finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the testimony, stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God.” Exodus 31:18 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “It’s a great loss”
I would like for us to think this month about the gift of writing. By that I’m not referring to those who seem to have a gift or talent for communicating well in writing. I’m referring instead to the gift of the written word itself. The ability for humans to communicate by means of the written word is a gift from God.
But sadly, it’s a gift that is increasingly under-appreciated and under-utilized in our day. Study after study reveals a serious, rapid, and steady decline of writing and reading of all sorts, on all subjects, across all age groups, and around the world. Literacy rates have actually been declining for almost forty years. I’m not referring to the simple ability to read, that basic measure of literacy continues to increase. What those studies measure is depth of literacy – the ability to engage in deep reading about meaningful subjects for a prolonged period of study, and to understand what was read.
The most rapid decline in this type of literacy is among the younger generations. The reason is technology. For that group, screen time spent on television shows, streaming services, social media, and games is more than ten times higher than time spent reading. But it’s not just young people. Only 19% of adults read for pleasure. Almost 35% of adults admit that once they left high school or college, they’ve never again read a book cover-to-cover. Not once. Not in all the decades of life since. Not one book.
This represents a great loss, and in some respects, it’s leading to a dumbing down of the population across age groups. Please don’t take that as an insult. I’m not making fun of anyone nor am I calling anyone stupid. I simply mean that when we don’t exercise our minds in the way deep reading requires, our critical thinking skills aren’t as strong as they could and should be. The brain is essentially a muscle and like any other muscle, it must be exercised in order to be strong. The lack of reading often leads to diminished critical thinking skills.
Written communication is a gift to the human race from God. There’s immense value in written communication of all kinds, and it’s a great loss that so many people do so little reading anymore. Throughout the month of June, we’ll consider this from many different angles. I look forward to exploring this important subject with you.
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