Literacy is important in every society, it determines a group of people’s ability to be informed and their potential to understand current events and their history while fostering creativity and initiative. Therefore, literacy does affect the capacity of each society to analyze, discriminate and disseminate information. Sometimes, this ability isn’t determined by their level of development: Cuba, although, considered a “developing country” can be found in the top 10 of the global Literacy rank; Mexico is ranked 129, in case you were wondering.
The definition of literacy states that it is an “intellectual process of gaining meaning from a critical interpretation of the written text” (It is taken from wikipedia, please donate). Literacy isn’t only knowing how to read and write ‘stuff’, it is also the proper usage of information and insights from any written product that will lead to informed decisions.
Some people say that literacy in our leaders isn’t as crucial as their personality, leadership and experience, I disagree. However, some world leaders aren’t that bright, and that could be linked to their literacy level, leading them to wrong decisions. The (apparently) elected Mexican president for the next administration (2012-2018), Enrique Pena Nieto, is one of those ‘illiterate’ leaders.
Unfortunately, if you don’t appreciate culture and literature, it is very unlikely that you will encourage others to read and become informed. Don’t you think?
“The leadership benefits of reading are wide-ranging. Evidence suggests reading can improve intelligence and lead to innovation and insight.” John Coleman – For Those Who Want to Lead, Read
Ps. Pena Nieto showed his lack of culture and literacy when he tried to explain to the audience which three books have influenced his life the most. This happened during the International Book Fair in Guadalajara (this video is very hard to watch, please forgive me).
Ps2. My favourite books: 1984, Le Petite Prince, Siddharta, Life of Pi, Catcher in the Rye, The Chrysalids.