Can you read this sentence? Are you literate? Could you have read and understood those questions if you weren't literate? Literacy is more than the ability to read and write; it's also the ability to understand what you"re reading and make sense in what you"re writing. In most cases, literacy is achieved through many years of schooling, but in some of the stories we read in class, the authors had to give themselves and education instead of being taught by parents and teachers. During my years in school I was always competing with other students to be the best and the brightest, and it was a lot of work that I sometimes didn't want to do. But while some people may think that attaining literacy requires hard work and gets little result, I think that literacy makes people more confident and ambitious, more aware, and more successful in life.
People with a good education tend to be more confident and ambitious than those who are not literate. Joining in on conversations and expressing ones ideas is easier if you"re literate and educated, and people feel good about themselves when they can do so. People are more ambitious in life, whether it be with their jobs or continuing education, when they have an education and knowledge of what is going on around them. In an insert from Benjamin Franklin's autobiography he talks about how he would read books on writing, and edit his own writings, and he said, "I had been lucky enough to improve the method or the language and this encouraged me to think I might possibly in time come to be a tolerable English writer, of which I was extremely ambitious." Ben taught himself how to read and write, while his father discouraged him to do so. He gave himself an education, made himself literate, and that is what gave him the ambition to become a great English writer; and he did. Without the ambition, Benjamin Franklin likely would not have continued on with his writing and become so great, and without being literate and educated, he likely would not have had the ambition.