So here I was again. Praying.
‘Are you there God? It’s me, Amani.’ I was in another vacuum. I had been thinking of getting a patent for a product I wanted to launch. I was considering about two fiction books and a book of poetry. On top of that, I was in desperate need (am in desperate need) of a vacation and another career.
My current location was at my desk with my current employer, but my focus was shot. I hadn’t really done any work of value for a while. Just enough to stay above water and not get fired. Then, as He usually does, God whispered his response.
‘Amani, what did I have you doing in the beginning?’ I sat and thought for a while. In 2009 I sat at my old desk in Bank of America one night and typed out three children’s books in one hour. I don’t know what came over me but the stories poured out of me along with the characters. When I came to, my supervisor and co-workers were very disturbed at my lack of productivity. I, on the other hand, was very pleased with myself.
Then I took a moment to really think-where did my other escapades come from? Myself, other people…but never God. That was it. It fell on me like a ton of bricks. I wanted to continue writing my poetry and publish a book of poems. I wanted to write a Christian book, I wanted to write a fiction piece. Me. I thought having an online women’s magazine would be a good idea to spread encouragement and wisdom to women around the world. I was all over the place and I needed direction and focus.
When I first began writing children’s books, I thought about my childhood. My mother brought a touch of magic to it that, I now know, not all other children get to experience. She dreamt with me. She imagined with me. We built and explored stories together. She is the reason I am a writer. She is the reason that I am so free with the world in my mind and have a passion to share it with others. I know about magic because she gifted it to me. And it all started with her reading with me.
I witness children today…wait, I’ll get back to that. I see ADULTS today who can’t read or spell. They sound so uncomfortable and ashamed when their illiteracy is on display. How seriously do people take you when they hear you speak? This creates many of the issues we have in society today. Due to the insecurity that illiteracy births, people attempt to compensate that in other areas of their lives. Sadly, illiterate adults often raise illiterate children. Not intentionally, but because outside of school, they seldom develop their children in this area simply because they are not equipped to do so.
Back to the children. Little consideration is given nowadays to how illiteracy will affect our children as adults. It can’t be or parents would do more about it in the home, wouldn’t they? Do parents realize where illiteracy places their children in this competitive job market? And oh how much more competitive it will be when this upcoming generation enters it. Literacy is beyond essential for the development of a child’s self-esteem, well-being, and future.
So, what to do? Parents who are illiterate must do everything to ensure that their children aren’t. Getting a tutor or making your child read at home are amazing methods. Unfortunately, even parents who read and speak well are falling off. Due to busy schools or a lack of priorities, we are not as involved in our children’s learning. We owe it to our children to prepare them for greatness and protect that journey. Make them a priority. Secure their futures.
I have decided to continue writing children’s books to do my part. It is a passion and a pleasure to write for them. Not only for entertainment but to teach morals and to educate. Whatever you can, to whoever you can, do your part.