“Remember/When”

I had planned this elaborate piece based upon some prophetic quotations of previously great minds. That all fell to shit, when I remembered the opening passage from a book I read last year professing the false interpretation of a famous Mark Twain quote. I googled several famous quote formats only to discover they all contained the same groups of sayings. This all caused me to wonder about just how much relevance is truly derived from combing over the past? Is it possible this processing of memories is just another self soothing mechanism for present day anxiety? It sort of struck me the other day, that I’m at the age where the quality of time matters more. Sifting through memories is avoidance behavior for creating new experiences. With an average life expectancy, I’m hoping for potentially three more decades to live. Yikes, that sounds scary until you try to think your way back to being 26 all over again. While I want to believe I have a grasp of that time, my recollection is simply the highlights of what I actually experienced. Nearly all of the day to day thoughts and more importantly, the feelings for that time are diminished to blurred recounts of distant memories. Will 56 be the same for me at 86? With any luck, my desire to create new experiences then will be as strong as it presently is. I used to lug all of that shit around with me on my daily rounds, until the weight became such a burden, it about stopped me from realizing how to positively mold my present. I think this is very common among most individuals, as the idea of growing into our future selves represents more anxiety about what that entails than drifting backwards into the comfort of what once was. This is where the lie begins within each and everyone of us. We pause to dream about that ideal version of who we are, only to realize that will take a shit ton of discipline and self control, that’s much harder than compromising to the notion of fuck it, what I am is good enough. We read and hear the stories of others accomplishments and begin to dream of our very own, then just as with that New Years resolution, we quit and revert to tolerating our lack of commitment. Sound familiar? 

 

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Maybe, just maybe this post is an exercise in the mental evolution of my thoughts. I ran with a concept I felt was worth flushing out, only to pivot on my notion towards something distinctively different. Now, after making a statement with my opening paragraph, I’ve emboldened yet another idea, and am currently in the midst of connecting the two. 

 

  “Where does awareness factor into our lives...?” 

 

The human senses evolved to give us a chance to survive our surroundings with only average physical capacity. We’re no match for the great predators of the past or today. Before we developed the tools and technology to avoid and overwhelm such animals, we hid from them by always being watchful of our surroundings. Modern man faces dramatically different surroundings, and while still valuable, the senses take a back seat to interpretation of the intent of other humans. This skill varies widely depending on the culture surrounding your life, and the language of that culture, with respect to how individuals articulate their intentions. This is where literacy matters most, and unfortunately this is one of modern man’s great dividers. Transitioning the feelings from the self and the memories of the past to a statement of the present, that clearly suggests your present state and potentially your future behavior all depends on the individuals capacity to use language as a tool. Now language and level of literacy matters most. Awareness converted to expression shared with others gives social structure its power. Having all the awareness in the world serves no purpose until it’s articulated to those in your community to deliver some form of benefit. 

 

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What does all of this mean? All of us have this profound sense of how we feel, even beyond our ability to express that to others and the world around us. This compelling sensation within us drives the story behind this desire to create and express ourselves as unique individuals. As far back as 70,000 years ago, there are artifacts representing this ennate human characteristic. It’s intrinsically human to cultivate our ability to share ourselves. Now let’s imagine the degrees that ability varies from person to person. Now we can shift to our accumulated knowledge as a species to measure things.

 

   https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/10/08/us-adults-rank-below-average-global-survey-basic-education-skills

 

Now the income inequality can be directly correlated to the functionality of the members of the social construct. How can anyone with limited or diminished capacity adequately compete with those who have advanced capacity over the same functionality? What could possibly be the cause for such skewed outcomes for human development across a common social structure? Let’s begin with the one being presented as the most prominent by the minority’s captured in this measurement. Discrimination because of race. Ok, there’s no denying discrimination hasn’t played a role in our social evolution over the years, but the capacity to become literate, and use that skill as a tool to improve the quality of any individual life hasn’t been denied since the decision from   “Brown vs Board of Education”, although it did take an extended period of time for the full scale implementation of its effects. Every single child in the country has access to gaining the skill of literacy. This suggests the differential outcomes is a result of something beyond access to education. Let’s examine the home as a contributing factor to functional literacy disparities. This aspect helps to clear the discrimination biases because it includes all races. 


   https://nces.ed.gov/NAAL/PDF/2006470_1.PDF

 

 This study indicated some marginal disparities between ethnicity, and confirmed a large percentage of the entire population at intermediate or below. As a matter of fact, whites scored below basic at a higher rate than blacks, and only slightly below Hispanics. This is absolutely not a racial discrimination issue. All races struggle at similar rates to attain intermediate functionality with literacy. So, what can we surmise from these findings? 

 

 Functional Literacy and poverty are highly correlated! 

 Functional Literacy is not a byproduct of lack of access to government programs! 

 Functional Literacy is a social dilemma! 

 

 

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 Functional Literacy is not unique to the United States! 

 

Isn’t it time to begin the conversation about the causes and the solutions? Poverty is a self fulfilling prophecy with regards to how it entraps segments of all populations. The reason it carries this heavy hand is the distortion it brings to the cognitive development of those in its grasp. Parents with limited capacity most of the time are unable to identify their role in lifting up their children out of their own dilemma. It’s not laziness, they just don’t know any better. Communities see their role as offering relief via charity and the allocation of tax dollars to welfare. Neither of which addresses the core problem in a manner for resolution, only pacifying their empathy and compassion for the suffering of others. A true solution should offer all children, not only the chance to attain a functional level of literacy, but the support to encourage their family to realize that as a minimum standard of care for all children. Lifting a single generation from their birth to a functional level of potential capacity will establish the roots for all future generations to come to flourish as a collective society. This can’t be accomplished by means of prejudice, judgement, and withholding of meaningful beneficial support. This requires transformational shifting of the perspectives we use to identify this massive issue. This requires dissecting the benefits from the efforts to enhance the outcomes for more people. A cultural revolution of sorts in the way we view our sense of community state, and nation. 

 

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I challenge anyone taking the time to read this piece to go out and do a bit of background work on this subject. Taking my grumbling about the situation is easily dismissed as an opinion by those taking offense or disagreeing with me completely. Think about the attributes of those around you, who thrive and flourish. What do they have in common with one another, and how well to they articulate themselves to others. Draw your own conclusions, but stick your nose in mankind’s business just long enough to speak intelligently on the content, not about how you feel over all this.

 

 

  #functional literacy