Literacy is the most basic fundamental key to education, and education is the key to success. There is a clear correlation between crime and illiteracy. Some states use illiteracy statistics of fourth graders to determine how big their new prisons will have to be in the next few years. Most of the future inmates are children of illiterate parents. Parents who are literate encourage their children to read by reading to them at an early age, and encouraging them to read as they get older.
So those who are appalled at the rising crime rate; who live in gated communities and buy firearms for protection, would do well to consider volunteering a few hours a week at their local libraries helping adults learn to read, or perhaps volunteering at their local grade schools teaching children to learn to read.
There is great value and satisfaction in helping ourselves by helping others.
Reading is important, and writing is equally important. I practice by writing brief vignettes of things that happened to me as I was growing up. Stories of family members and friends that, at the time, didn’t seem interesting or important. Many times I have rummaged through boxes of family photos wondering who some of these people were, perhaps I know their names but don’t know anything more about them. By writing personal notes about your experiences with your aunts and uncles, grandparents and cousins, you leave a legacy for your children, as well as honing your own writing skills.