I was reminded time and again this week of why I like kids. That is not to say that I would ever return to middle school, even on pain of death. That is not to say that I think kids should rule the world and parents and adults should not be making the tough decisions and sticking with them. It is to say that if we listen to our kids it can be a good reminder of the awe and possibilities that they see in the world that we occasionally become too jaded or boring or scared to see.
Here are two examples of great change in the hands of kids that I saw this week.
Brothers Christopher and Matt Hales started an organization called ‘Goggles for Guppies’. At the age of 12 they figured out that the kids most at risk for drowning sometimes didn’t have access to, or funds for, proper equipment, and they set out to change that. Click here to watch a video about their program.
Kids as activists. A group of fourth graders were disappointed that the web-site for the new movie ‘The Lorax’ down-played the environmental theme in the original Dr. Suess story. So they did something about it. They started a petition on change.org and forced a major Hollywood studio to change the site.
Let’s learn from the kids. I started a petition on www.change.org to ask the United Nations to add drowning to Millennium Development Goal #4, Reduce Childhood Mortality. I think we need to aim for 250,000 signatures, minimum. Please forward the link to everyone you know, put it on Facebook and tweet your hearts out on Twitter. I think we can reach our goal by May 1, International Water Safety Day, if we all work together.