Sunday, March 25, 2018

They are the Best of Us

I'm attempting to write everyday in March.Today is post 25 of 31.

NY Times
I've long argued that children are the best of us. In my twenty plus years of teaching, I've encountered a lot of kids and a lot of adults. And while I've absolutely encountered kids who are far from perfect, I'd take them on my team in a minute. 

Adults confuse me. We fail to stand up when needed. We fail to speak up, often, because we might alienate others. We latch on to our beliefs, but refuse to listen to the beliefs of others. We give ourselves a side and blindly follow anything associated with it.

Yet, that isn't the worst thing we do. We dismiss our children. A friend often tells me that children are the most disenfranchised group in our society, and I think she's right. Even when they stand up, attempt to be heard, they are dismissed as not having the experience we do, not having any knowledge of what they're talking about.

I disagree. I think so many kids can speak up, on a wide range of issues, from a place that is pure. They haven't been jaded from life as so many of us are. They still believe the best from the world, from us. They believe that they can change the world for the better, where many adults have given that up as a childish dream. 

Watching the kids from Majory Stoneman Douglas over the past few weeks, I'm filled with awe. I don't care what your feelings of the Second Amendment are, I'd hope you could see kids that have faced the worst of humanity and are trying to make the world a better place in the only way they know how. I'd hope you could see them speaking to crowds so large that the majority of adults I know would be filled with anxiety. I'd hope you'd support them, encourage them to raise their voices.

We can disagree on a wide range of issues in this country and I think that's ok. We need discourse, true discourse, and we need to learn from each other. But when I see those kids speaking up, when I see kids across the country marching for their beliefs, I'm filled with pride. Not because I agree, or disagree, with their stance. I'm filled with pride because they're using their voice. I'm filled with pride because they're taking charge of their future. I'm filled with pride because they are acting in a way I believe our forefathers that founded this country would be thrilled with.

I mean, Emma's silence? Chilling.

And Naomi? She's eleven. ELEVEN. Unreal.

If you haven't seen Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt perform their mashup, Found Tonight, please watch below. They see the kids. They respect them. We all need to. 

Children truly are the best of us. Now we just need to rise to the standard they have set. They are telling their stories, we need to listen.