“No permita que el miedo a la dificultad lo paralice.” That’s how Paulo Freire’s second letter begins. And he goes on defining something difficult as something that represents an obstacle. Then he introduces three characters, the fear, the difficulty and the subject (a person). What does he mean? The fear produced by the difficulty which is experienced by the person. More specifically, the author refers to the fear caused by the difficulty of understanding a book or text labeled as ‘not-easy’.
Freire says that our perception about difficulty will depend on how confident we feel about ourselves. Being confident would help us to think that we are able to overcome almost any situation we face. “A veces la lectura de un texto exige alguna convivencia anterior con otro que nos prepara para un paso posterior,” he says. I understand this as “our objectives need to be gradual because achieving smaller goals will make us feel more confident. (Someone suggested, “Start with books that appeal to you.”)
“It is a big mistake to give up just as soon as we meet with the first obstacle.” That is how I interpret Freire’s words. And there would be no problem if we give up to one particular task, but the truth is that, certainly, most of the things we do, if not all, require or demand some kind of effort from us. “Nobody said it was easy” says a song. Therefore, before giving up to a text or any other situation, it would be necessary to analize why it is worthy to go on trying, or what are the reasons for going on with something. Then, by identifying our strengths and abilities we would find that the big challenge is not as big as we thought of it at first.
The ideas above are referred by the author, Paulo Freire, around the task of understanding a text and the difficulty it might represent. However, in my and Freire’s opinion, reading a text is a personal experience in which the author and the reader meet; an experience in which the author let us to know his or her opinion about a certain topic; an experience in which the reader’s task is to figure out what the author is trying to convey by words.
“Reading: Do it yourself, Do it enjoyable”