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Let me ask the reader this question. What does it mean to reach full maturity? Personally, I hope I never find out the answer to this question. In my early thirties I decided the most important creed to live by is; ‘I hope that I am not the same person next year, at this time, as I am today, for if I am I must be dead, even if I still have oxygen and blood pumping through my veins.
William Shakespeare once wrote “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man [woman] in his [her] time plays many parts, his [her] acts being seven ages.” Unfortunately, one of the main reason so many men and women hide behind the curtain throughout their entire life and don’t flourishing to their fullest potential is a lack of self-esteem. While there are many reasons for a lack of self-esteem, for many men and women, illiteracy is the major causation. For millions, of otherwise very intelligent men and women throughout the world, their inability to read and right has imprisoned them into a psychological chamber of horror. While ‘Don’t Call Me Stupid’ was primarily written to encourage those who do not believe they have the potential to ever read or write, I believe ‘Don’t Call Me Stupid’ offers a great deal of inspiration to anyone suffering from a lack of self-esteem. Moreover, the book will help loved ones and caregivers better able to offer support to those who are functionally illiterate.
While chronologically I am in my sixties I have more vibrancy and zeal for life than I had in my thirties. I began working prior to my teens in construction, delivering milk and in sales. Later, I joined the military as a reservist. I worked for a few years in a factory, and on the in-laws dairy farm. I drove school bus and tractor trailer. But my greatest passion was and remains being on a timeless journey of spiritual development. Equally important is that of encouraging others to find their spiritual freedom and hence their fullest potential. In this way I served as a minister in a large mainline church for twenty eight years before leaving. Much to the dismay and even anger by most of my collages I refused to be imprisoned by or flaunt clerical collars or any form of robes throughout my ministry. Even though I have left the main-line religious institution my spirituality continues to grow as I dedicate myself to studying scripture, philosophy and psychology.
I wrote and published the book ‘Don’t Call Me Stupid” after I graduated from university. As a young man in my twenties I was functionally illiterate, as well as, an alcoholic. Over the course of the book I try to help the reader grasp the extraordinary fear and debilitating emotions of what it is like to function in a world where you believe everyone but you can read and write; not to mention a society where it was becoming you needed a grade 13 or a B.A. just to work in a factory. I was driven to teach myself to read and write as a result of my first born child. There was no way in the world I wanted her to experience the fear that traumatized me throughout my life because of illiteracy.
I wrote ‘Don’t Call Me Stupid’ after a great deal of encouragement from my professors. It was suggested I had a story to tell. A story of the struggles an illiterate man or woman must face each day of their life. A story of the challenges one must contend with in an effort to overcome illiteracy. I hoped my story will encourage others, who were illiterate to change their life. I also hope those who are related to someone who is functionally illiterate will understand the situation illiterate’s face, on a daily bases and how they can support them in the journey of their life.
It is a bit of a conundrum however, as someone who is illiterate cannot read the book. While I do not know how many illiterate individuals I directly helped. When I first published this book in hardcover in 1999 the reviews by those who either lived with or knew someone who was functionally illiterate were very positive.
With today’s technology, of course, someone can purchase and electronic copy and have it read to them electronically. It is for this reason I have taken the time to republish ‘Don’t Call Me Stupid’ as an E book.
Moreover, as I live in a small northern community I will be offering spiritual counselling via Skype or other forms of technology. As long as I have my physical and mental faculties, I plan on learning and sharing interesting new skills and knowledge every year. For example two years ago I learned how to make sourdough bread, something I have passed onto others. This past year I have been learning more about wild mushrooms and benefits of Chaga tee. I sure hope I am not the same guy next year at this time as I am now. How about you?
I hope you, my reader, enjoy this book and are as encouraged to become a player in life rather than continue to hide behind the curtain of life. As well I look forward to hearing from you.