The Read Across America organizers at Whitewater Middle School asked me and other writers from the Charlotte Writers’ Club to read from our works or those of others, discuss the challenges we have overcome and talk about the value of pursuing our goals. “Be inspirational,” they said.
Having devoured books from the time I first could read, I wasn’t sure my experiences were particularly inspirational. I just always loved to read. I relish a good story well told, being transported to another place and time, feeling like the characters are people I know, and vicariously experiencing their emotions.
Then I discovered my superpower.
In reading voraciously, I become better informed, and more understanding of other perspectives and cultures. I think more critically. I become a better writer.
By being a reader, I gained power over myself and my future. It led me to a career as a writer, and the pen – and its modern-day equivalent – is indeed mighty. Not only does my career pay the bills, my feature stories help educate, and my ghostwriting helps form opinion.
Reading is a superpower. That is what I am telling the students. Better still, it’s a superpower that no one can take away from you.