Thursday, October 1, 2015

Pope Blesses Literacy

Pope Francis’ whirlwind tour across Northeast United States (Congress in DC to UN in NYC to Independence Hall in Philly) was highlighted by his calls to address serious global issues on environmental degradation, war, poverty, immigration, and refugees.  Imagine what the pontiff could have said if he addressed the book publishing industry.  

I have a copy of a speech that he prepared, but was unable to deliver due to time constraints.  I guess global warming has exigency over whether the masses read 50 Shades of Grey. Here is what would have been his speech:

“The world has many problems, but none that can’t be resolved with humans driven by peace, love, and democracy in their hearts.  We can be better than we are, do more than we’ve done, and become something Heavenly here on Earth.

“We live by the words of The Bible, but we also are a people of great ideas, dreams, and knowledge.  The best way to transmit this is through books.  The power of reading is mightier than any army and stronger than any enemy.  We have the ability to change the world – and ourselves – simply by what we read.

“We don’t have to read the same story, but we need to be on the same page, and that means we must undertake a global commitment to ensure that every man, woman, and child is literate.  We must nurture starving minds with wisdom.  We must irrigate parched souls with inspired teachings. We must enrich the impoverished with wealthy notions of how to live a good life.  All of this comes from books, whether fiction, non-fiction, poetry, short-story, or essays.

“All of the industry’s genres and book formats take a unique approach to how we should live life, but they are united on the highest ideals that should bring us together, enlighten us, and show us a better way.

“World leaders tell me they have pressing problems or a lack of funds, and can’t put literacy high enough on a list that includes war, crime, homeless, poverty, sickness, and the environment.  But maybe if we had a more literate population we’d move faster to finding solutions to these problems?  Maybe at the base of our problems is an ignorance, fear, or greed that is popularized by uneducated, illiterate masses?  We have so many people living on the fringes, feeling disenfranchised and unable to really contribute to society because they lack the skills to do so.

“Nothing short of world literacy is needed as the foundation for a just society.  With literacy comes independence and the ability to make smarter decisions, and to contribute to the world, rather than being a burden upon it.

“Whatever it takes, we must decrease the illiteracy rate, for it will increase the world’s chances at living in peace.  Literacy for all could mean justice for all.

“Literacy allows for a civilized society to work together, to look at things and to understand what needs to be done.  Without literacy for all, there will be a world in imbalance, and such a world will tilt into decay, violence, and depression.

“The greatest country in the world should have the vision, courage, and resources to eradicate illiteracy both here and abroad.  Literacy immunizes the world against ignorance.  Ignorance causes violence, poverty, and lost souls.

“Help create more readers, more involved citizens, and a better world.  May God give literacy to all!”


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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