I flipped through the pages of a comic book. I couldn’t read at the time. I was only four years old. I got the jest of the story from the colored pictures.

At six years old, after two years of school. I could read simple words and sentences. I flipped through the comic book. I saw words I knew. “Mum! Mum, I can read!”

I was so excited so I got more comic books. There were the same words I knew. It amazed me. The pictures had a whole new meaning. They didn’t tell the story. The words were the pictures.

A whole new world opened up for me.

As the years went by, I traveled around the world many times. I went to space. I circled planets and flew back to Earth to explore every part of it. Every exciting thing that happened in history was there for me to explore.

I laughed! Sometimes I cringed. Many times, I cried over someone’s misfortune.

It was all because of words… words I read.

I read the news and learned how bad the world can be.

I learned about the good side of life.

There are good and bad things in life. I read about them all. Words gave me a choice… focus on the good or the bad. I chose the good.

I can’t imagine not being able to read. I’d be blind without words, the stories, and the books that teach so many things.

Words are pictures.

Michael T. Smith