Handwritten letters . . . ideas turned into reality . . . imagination recorded. If our world were devoid of the written world, how would we function? If there were no means of promulgating the creativity and wonder of our human intellect, how would we discover all the world can offer? It is the combination of language and writing that allows the human race to communicate effectively with one another, even across vast distances. It is this same combination that allows us to record our thoughts and ideas for posterity and to create a world where we can live together.
For me, there is nothing quite like picking up a book off the shelf and skimming through the pages, drawing in the knowledge contained therein just waiting for me to discover it. Maybe that's why I love working in a library so much -- I get to work with books and to extend my love of the written word to others around me. Granted, by and large my work revolves around the legal system and finding the correct case law or statutes, but even there I appreciate the beauty of the written word because it enables us to begin with a common ground when addressing a problem. There is such depth and richness to the written word, so much so that we often need assistance in truly understanding the meaning behind what the black letters say. Yet this is only another reason to appreciate the written word because it guides us along a path of bettering our own intellect as we search for truth and understanding of the world around us.
While I understand that not everyone shares my passion for the written word, I challenge you to consider what our world would be like without it. What would you do if suddenly all our laws were merely promulgated by word-of-mouth? Or if your favorite restaurant only provided a menu from their server? Or if the street signs disappeared, and you had to make your way through town based on landmarks? And what about if all those stories you heard as children suddenly disappeared because nobody remembered them since they were never written down? It's a sobering thought. The written word allows us to express our human intellect and to share it with those around us. Keep that in mind the next time you read the signs on the subway or flip through the pages of your newspaper. The written word keeps us connected.