There are a lot of conversations going on about the future of digital literacy, and some people think everyone will be a programmer at some point however soon, or else live in abject poverty.
I tend to agree that the basics of loops, arrays, etc are good for most people to have a handle on, but some people dive in with the idea that they're going to be an amateur application developer in a month, and I think this is bad. An amateur application developer is a full time application developer. You can't be in this field and not give tremendous time to reading docs and fixing bugs, and if you don't have the time, IMO it's a dead end.
But Bash, even with all its flaws, gives a lot of reward with just a little effort. As I have learned Bash over the last several years, I started out writing scripts that just looked like what one would type at the shell (and hey, they worked!), and gradually learned how to make them more stable by checking error codes and setting options etc. For a long time I didn't even know Bash had arrays. I think Bash is the best language to learn with just a bit of time here and there. And you have curl for rest apis, SQLite when you need more structure, jq for managing json, xmllint for xml, each with a manual.
The biggest point is that Bash is designed for managing the computer you're on. It's personal, and a newb can do things that are meaningful and useful pretty fast, use those tools they built daily, and build on them incrementally. You don't need Git, an IDE, a web framework, etc etc. It's all preinstalled on your mac.
Personally I'm a Java programmer who won't touch MySQL when PostgreSQL is in the picture, and with PostgreSQL I don't see much point in using SQLite, and I'm writing this post on a Fedora 20 install. But I recognize I am a number of standard deviations removed from the middle of whatever bell curve, and I think a lot of advocates of digital literacy make the mistake of saying to someone with budding interest, "Do what I do, it's great!" while somehow forgetting how many hours of sleep they've lost obsessing over stack traces.
I also think using the shell a bit on a regular basis gives one appreciation for the Unix philosophy: a thing modern web development deviates from in big ways. I hope future generations reverse this trend, so that's another motive of mine.
So if you have budding interest, open up your terminal and type 'man apropos', and if you're an advocate, consider your audience.