Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What Gets You Into Heaven?

Just finished speaking to the Basic Skills and Adult Literacy Conference in Winston-Salem, NC. The topic was "FUN Is Not a 4-Letter Word!"

The folks were great and we had a big time, and as I walked away I kept thinking about a comment from the welcoming speaker, Dr. Gary M. Greene, president of Forsyth
Technical Community College. He said to the attendees, "You are both the first line and last line for people who need basic literacy skills."

His point was that these folks are the first people adults turn to to learn to read and, hopefully, learn more effectively. But, the point that has stuck with me is that they are also the last line of hope for adults with literacy challenges. Because, as Dr. Greene eloquently put it, "If you can not help them they have little hope for a positive economic future in this day and time."

I'm sure you are having a relatively easy time reading this blog. But, what if you couldn't read it? What if you could not read a road sign, a menu, or a job application? What hopes would you have of living and succeedng in today's information society.

I believe teachers in general, and especially the people who teach literacy skills, deserve to move close to the front of the line at the Pearly Gates. They'll be up there with soldiers, police, and firemen. Ya gotta get points for the patience and grace it takes to teach anyway, and these folks deserve more than the average points.

In your job, what do you do that earns you points; not just dollars, but points that count as positive Karma. I once profiled a guy for a business publication who, when I asked him what he wanted on his headstone said, "He always made money for his friends."

I think that if that is his greatest accomplishment he deserves to give up his place in line to anyone who let me in the flow of traffic when I was trying to get out of Chapel Hill after a Carolina game at Kenan Stadium.

What do you do on a regular basis that gets you into Heaven? Or, at least that moves you up in line?

You can do well by doing good.

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