The impact of literature

Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 20, 2016

While children are attending school, teachers will assign a book for their students to read.
Typically students will mourn the arrival of such an assignment, mostly because they won’t be reading during class. Instead it’s a required task to be completed at home, when more fun options can be enjoyed, like riding bikes, playing with friends or playing the Atari 2600.
Well that’s what I would have rather been doing when “To Kill A Mockingbird” was assigned to me back in grade school.
Friday it was announced the author of the historic book, Harper Lee, passed away due to health complications.
In spite of my previous protests, I read the book as homework. And then read it again later on when it wasn’t an assignment.
Growing up in an age, place and family where race was not an issue, it was the first time I was introduced to the disparity of how people were treated based on skin color 20 to 30 years prior. By reading how race disparities took place in our country, I learned how society had advanced.
That’s the best part of literature, it can bring you to a place you are unfamiliar, even places that don’t really exist or teach lessons that need to be passed on.
Growing up I read a lot. Many hours were spent with any and all books that were either assigned as classwork, or were handed down.
That’s a treasure which should be shared with all children, regardless of the current technology, how pretty it is outside or which video game was just released on the latest console.
Of course, that’s not to say children shouldn’t get out of the house just as often as they read.
My point is that literature provides us with lessons that could be learned the hard way, but are better learned in the safety of our own homes curled up on a couch or comfortable chair.

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