“NOT TO KNOW IS BAD, NOT TO WISH TO KNOW IS WORSE”


“NOT TO KNOW IS BAD, NOT TO WISH TO KNOW IS WORSE” – Nigerian Proverb

There is a Nigerian proverb which says the following: “NOT TO KNOW IS BAD, NOT TO WISH TO KNOW IS WORSE.”

The reason I’m quoting this proverb is because I’d like to tell you about Tony whom I tutor. I met Tony through the Learn to Read program (LTR). Right away I knew there was something special about him. I could tell he’s a dedicated person who has a thirst for knowledge.  He told me that he needed to improve his reading comprehension and vocabulary skills. Tony impressed me with his honesty and sincerity.

Some people talk a good game and have unrealistic goals, but in the short time I’ve worked with Tony I can tell he’s on a mission to accomplish his goals.

Tony is able to articulate his goals in a clear and concise manner. He wants to get his GED and enroll in the Culinary Arts program at Virginia College.  In addition to working with me, Tony participates in a small group class and goes to the computer lab, which is a component of the LTR program. Tony has a hearing aid and reads lips (which I have to admit I wish I had that skill). He said taking these classes and working with me is part of his plan to make his goals a reality, which brings me back to the Nigerian proverb, “Not to know is bad, not to wish to know is worse”.

Tony is antithetical to this proverb. He knows not knowing is bad, plus he wishes to know more in order to do and be better, so he can become a contributing member of society.

I moved to Florida from Detroit, Michigan in October 2016 after working as an educator for 30 plus years.  I wanted to do something to help improve the literacy rate. One day while visiting the Jacksonville library downtown, I saw a flyer for the LTR program.  I inquired and slowly got involved. The program is a godsend for people who need help and for those like me who want to give back. I thank LTR for being in the right place at the right time.