Fate has decreed that all lazy boys who come to hate books and schools and teachers and spend all their days with toys and games must sooner or later turn into donkeys.~ The Adventures of Pinocchio, C. Collodi
I try to avoid certain things in the world, like watching the news and reading the paper - two things I try never, ever to do. I prefer to live in a bubble of denial, which is probably why I'm a writer. But when I sometimes end up in the room with my news-watching husband or accidentally glance at the paper, I think of this quote. Yes, I'm really that weird and nerdy. Sad, I know.
Why on earth would I think of that quote? Well, because there are so many donkeys in the world today, of course!! Where else would they have come from?
Why do so many of my students insist that they HATE to read, announce proudly that they have never read a book all the way through, and dare me to find one they like, fully convinced that it's an impossibility? Is it a coincidence that there are fewer readers and fewer people with basic skills in social etiquette in the world today? I don't think so. What happened to the days when people loved to read and when most people treated others with decency and common courtesy?
Can I prove a link between reading and common decency? Um...no. Am I convinced there is a link? Absolutely! I miss NICE people, patient people who understood if you were struggling with a crying infant or needing to get into the other lane of traffic. Instead, too many are turning into donkeys!! The world needs more readers, people!
So... are you on board with my theory, or have I finally gone round the bend? You can be honest. It's okay, I can take it. Just break it to me gently.
P.S. Of course there are nice non-readers and not-nice people who love to read. The world is built on multiplicity and exceptions. :-)