I used to laugh along when people joked about letting kids run the world. But I’m beginning to think they actually possess a finer worldview than many of us adults.
Case in point.
Yesterday, when working with second-grade students at an elementary school in Massachusetts, I asked them this question: “What would the world look like if all children dreamed big and believed in their stories?”
I often ask this question of students in the work that I do. Their answers should give you a warm surge of hope for our future.
Here’s a glimpse…
“The world would be shaped like a heart because everyone would love and take care of each other.”
“No one would feel alone, because everyone would care about everyone else’s story.”
“All of the countries would get along and do what’s right for everyone.”
“It would feel safe.”
“There would be a lot of dreaming and imagination because there would be lots of room for it.”
“There would be no celebrities, because no one’s story would be more important than anyone else’s.”
“It would be less sad and more happy.”
Sometimes I throw a little curveball at them to see how they respond once divisiveness gets added to the mix: “What if you didn’t agree with someone else; what would you do then?”
They don’t miss a beat.
“You’d have to take the time to show that you still care about that person, and listen to what they have to say.”
“Sometimes you have to take a deep breath, or count to ten, or something like that. Then come back and let both people talk about it.”
If you feel even a fraction of the joy and hope I feel in reading these answers, you’re feeling pretty optimistic right now. In the work I do when I visit schools, I see countless teachers, administrators, staff doing some phenomenal work these days, helping students not just with their academic work, but with internalizing the importance of community, good citizenship, self-worth and the worth of others.
They are changing hearts.
And those hearts just well might change the world for the better.
Thank you, educators.