Guided by Youth

My son is going to save tigers. He’s clear on this, and looking for ways to go about it. Being a cynical adult, I can see all the reasons why it won’t work, all the impossibility. That is, arguably, a product of my experience. Part of ‘growing up’ for so many of us, is about learning that we can’t achieve, that it won’t work and that there probably isn’t much point trying in the first place.

This is one of the big differences between children and adults. They don’t know that they can’t. They believe all things are possible, and have a sense of their own ability to change the world.

It’s very easy to come in as a jaded adult and tell them there’s no point. So easy to say ‘you will make no difference and you’re wasting your time.’ It takes just a few seconds to crush a dream and trample on inspiration.

The sure fire way to fail is not to try in the first place. The second possibility lies in giving up. When we try, and keep trying, and refuse to admit defeat, there is real possibility for change. One of the things that sets heroes apart from the people who never do anything, is that the heroes very seldom have the ‘common sense’ to know when they are ‘beaten’. Most of the younger folk still believe they can make a difference in the world. They have a capacity for heroism and vision that dies in people once they buy into the myth of their own powerlessness.

People have the power to do all kinds of amazing, world transforming things. One of the reasons most of us don’t, is that we long since stopped believing that we could. We do not need to teach our kids that they are destined to fail. When they dream wildly, why not listen? Children often have a clarity and capacity for hope that we could all learn from. James is going to save tigers. I am not going to tell him it’s a lost cause.

3 thoughts on “Guided by Youth”

  1. Yeah, I think parents need to stop pounding the negativity into their kids brains by telling them something isn’t possible. As Pagans, and not, we should be teaching them that they can manifest their own realities. Now when my oldest announced he wanted to be a rock star, I encouraged him, but also encouraged him to have a back up plan like being a Lawyer or something he’d be good at. I said, you will be one of the few Rockstars who will know the legal in’s and out’s of everything that’s going on and no one will be able to cheat you.

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  2. Great article. I agree with you. With 12 kids I’ve heard every dream imaginable, and then some. And while I was positive few would actually work out, I never discouraged my kids from trying. But not only trying that which they dreamed of, but to also expand and try things they never dreamed of because you just never know what might be out there that really has YOU written all over it.

    I saw a child in the store the other day dancing and singing her way down the aisle having a wonderful time, and NOT caring what anyone thought until her mother told her to stop because she was embarrassed.

    I thought how sad it was that we, as adults, don’t sing and dance in public without caring what anyone thinks.

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    1. I have been known to sing in random places. I also love it when I’m busking and people dance… happens sometimes… just a little skip from a teen always makes me smile. It’s good to dream! And play.

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