Home > Uncategorized > Kids Step Up While Adults Ponder, Deny, and Desist

Kids Step Up While Adults Ponder, Deny, and Desist

Sometimes it takes a kid to state things so directly, simply, elegantly, and eloquently that adults have no choice but to take notice and act upon.  It is often not out of a lack of concern for others or the planet, nor from total ignorance, but it is difficult for adults to accept the realities that they’ve been considering thoughtfully, denying patiently, and desisting concernedly.  Rather, I think adults often are paralyzed by what they see as unavoidable circumstances, the hefty weight of the status quo, and because trying to stay afloat seems more important that swimming to safer waters.

To a child, this is obviously nonsense.

Anne Frank was already dead for 2 years when “The Diary of a Young Girl” was first published in Dutch in1947.  But her diary, written for nearly 3 years from her 13th birthday until she passed away at 15, have been published into more than 60 languages, providing inspiration while illustrating the tragic nonsense of war.

Helen Keller was already 22 when she published “The Story of My Life.”  The book which chronicled her life until the age of 21 included her recollections of early childhood, attendance in schools for children with disabilities, and the triumph of her admission into Radcliffe College, now part of Harvard University.

Severn Cullis-Suzuki was just 12 in 1992, when she became famous for delivering the speech at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, now popularized as The girl who silenced the world for 5 minutes.” I’ve posted here in my blog about this speech and you can find it archived below.

Ruby Bridges was a mere 6 years old when, on November 14, 1960, she became one of the first black children to begin integrating white-only schools in the American South, launching dramatically the Civil Rights Movement fought during the turbulent 60s.  The image of her first day in school is permanently etched in the minds of many Americans through the illustration of Norman Rockwell, in The Problem We All Live WithRuby continues to be an inspiration to many today for her fight for better education for all. 

But today, I think 11-year-old Birke Baehr is as inspirational and courageous as all of the young people I’ve briefly described above.  He used to want to be a professional football player.  Now he wants to be a “biodynamic/organic farmer…to help make changes in the world!”

The best and brightest graduates of schools in Finland are commonly attracted to become teachers.  In many places around the world, the top graduates are recruited to become government officials or researchers in academia.  In the United States and in many other “advanced” nations of the world, they are lured into business, usually by companies primary purpose is to extract the greatest financial gains at any cost – human or natural.  Few of the best and brightest of our time – anywhere in the world – attracted to the profession of farming.  Yet, one of the most critical challenges of our time is the one to bring the most safe, natural, nourishing, and sustainable food to our table, to enrich the lives and minds of our children and ourselves.  What does this say about our life sustaining system, our economy, and our educational initiatives when we cannot steer some of our learned into the fields of agriculture and farming?


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