Does it matter that I just completed work on an authoritative new End English Functional Illiteracy Now website describing the serious problem of English functional illiteracy and a proven way to end it? Does it matter to you that almost half of U.S. adults cannot read and write well enough to hold a job that earns enough to support themselves? Chances are good that you do not believe that. Does that matter? No.
What we believe does not change the truth. At one time almost everyone in the world believed that the earth was flat. Did that belief keep the world from being a sphere? All human beings can choose to believe or disbelieve anything we wish. We are made that way. Sometimes we see proof that what we believe is not true. We do not like being wrong, so sometimes the proof is not enough. Have you ever had the experience of proving something to someone you are arguing with and seeing them a couple of days later, and they say, “There must be something wrong with that argument. I still believe. . . .“? Then they repeat what they believed before you showed them the proof.
Sometimes we must see the proof over and over in such a way that we cannot continue to hold onto our wrong belief. Human beings passionately dislike being wrong. Sometimes we have wrong beliefs because we will not take the time to honestly look at proof of something we do not want to believe. We do not want to believe that huge numbers of our fellow Americans are having really serious problems because they are illiterate. There are many people who claim to be compassionate about fellow Americans who are in poverty. A far smaller number of people ever do anything about it.
Many of us say, correctly, that we just barely make enough money to support ourselves at the level to which we have become accustomed. Many celebrities earn much more than enough to help many people in poverty. But most of them don’t. Most of them do not even investigate enough to learn that functional illiterates are more than twice as likely to be in poverty because of their illiteracy as for all other causes combined. Even if they are aware of that fact, most of them are too busy and too self-important to do anything about it.
IF you are truly compassionate about the suffering of an estimated 600 hundred million English-speaking people around the world who are functionally illiterate in English (more than 93 million in the U.S. alone) you are challenged to read the report titled Adult Literacy in America, available for free download from http://nces.ed.gov/pubs93/93275.pdf and see the calculations using the data from that report on page “2. Extent of the Problem” on my new http://LearnToReadNow.org website. Page “3. Why We Do Not See the Extent of the Problem” on my website explains why we may not believe the problem as serious as it really is.
IF you think that there may be lots of illiterates in the U.S., but the problems they face are really not all that bad, you are challenged to read page “4. The Seriousness of the Problem” on my new blog. IF you do not think that changing the spelling is really necessary or will really solve the problem, you are challenged to read pages “5. English Spelling Confuses Everyone,” “6. The Solution in a Nutshell,” and “8. Characteristics of NuEnglish” on my new website.
IF you read the pages mentioned in the two previous paragraphs and IF you are at least a little compassionate, you will want to help. Read page “10. Learn to Read Now!” on my new website and teach a functional illiterate to read and/or post a comment at the end of that page with nothing more than the next number in sequence, your full name, and your city and state, which will put you on a petition to educational and political authorities that you want NuEnglish taught in at least some of the kindergartens in your area as a very worthwhile trial.
I know — we are all busy. We all have our priorities: our relationship with God, our family, our job, and our hobbies and entertainment — not necessarily in that order, of course. But honestly now, couldn’t we do something out of compassion for our fellowman instead of one or two of the thirty minute TV programs we had planned to watch?