Having just finished reading Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography, I am convinced of my own functional illiteracy. One would think, that in this era of knowledge at your fingertips, the common man would be more learned than their forefathers: But this is not the case, at least not mine.
Franklin’s writings are succinct and precise. I am repeatedly questioning my once thought to be adequate writing, in light of Franklin’s poetic prose. Today, the American [English of course but in dialect] language is reduced to an artificial and near meaningless verbiage, devolved in its use, to be only slightly more expressive than hand gestures. While the great revolutionary American generation valued education and espoused the creation of the then unheard of public libraries and newspapers, my generation seems to value grabbing their crotches and shouting three word slogans; “Yes we can!”
Frequently I stumbled over my ignorance, for want of a more extensive vocabulary, while reading Franklin’s autobiography. I discovered the power of words not used in school, nor the hack and artifice of the modern colleges: the college man of today, is the slave of the yester-era.
Can any American wonder why we sink ever lower in public standing, education, and economy, when we have allowed a culture of ignorance and foolishness to be peddled throughout our media, newspapers, and public schools? While the greatest Americans reflected on the the betterment of their spirit, both virtue and moral, my generation lives in financial debt and moral depravity. Are these correlations? Absolutely. An immoral people cannot uphold a democratic society, anymore than a moral people can tolerate a tyranny.
I realize to what extent I am a poor writer. My first thought from reading my writing, is that it pales in comparison’s to Franklin’s. Unlike my generation, I actually want to improve.