As a society we are extremely lucky to have a huge amount of information available at our fingertips. Social media, newspapers, magazines, websites, even academic journals if you're so inclined. While we constantly try to stay up-to-date, particularly in industries such as PR, do we ever stop to think just how fortunate we truly are?
This BBC article focused on a Kenyan woman named Florence who, partly through the endeavours of Book Aid International, first learnt to read at the age of 60 and was suddenly opened up to a world of communication, reminded me of this.
Like anyone I get frustrated with my own reliance on my smartphone and the feeling that I never get to truly disconnect. It seems that tweets, news alerts and emails are constantly popping up, but we should all try and remember our fortune to have so much information available. Of course it is always important to think about critiquing what you read, especially with the surge in fake news, but we can't deny that we're lucky to be able to access information about practically anything.
This is of course more difficult in other parts of the world and that's why it's so exciting to read in this article about the work of Book Aid International and the positive effects it is having.
The charity donate a million free books each year as well as giving grants to buy books locally and to train librarians and teaching staff. Most of these books go to libraries in Africa with one being borrowed by Florence's granddaughter, starting Florence's journey to learn to read. It's truly amazing to think about the impact such a seemingly small endeavour could have, but as we all know education and knowledge are key components to progress, and I'm excited to see the further improvements that can be made through the work of Book Aid International. I'll also try to remind myself a little more often how lucky I am to be surrounded by reading material.
If you think about how much written information we consume every hour - going through emails at work or flicking through messages on mobiles phone - it's hard to imagine being without these ways of communicating.