Modern Kids can Change the World

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We are really excited in our household – we are heading to TedxKids BC this weekend. On Saturday Oct 26th, my eldest and I are heading to the Science World for a really cool edition of the world famous series, themed “The Power in Me”.

Kids nowadays are so much more knowledgeable about and interested in world issues! A 2012 Study on Global Kids beliefs by the Marketing store showed that “when kids are asked what they’d do if they had the power to change three things in the world, few focused on their narrower, more egocentric experiences  like improving school lunch menus, more TV time or no set bedtime.  Instead, kids largely wished to change things having to do with big issues like the environment, economy, and social civility.” Here is what was on their wish list:

  • That the unemployment in my country would end.” –Girl, 9 years, Spain
  • “We would stop global warming.” –Girl, 10 years, Poland
  • “Find a cure for cancer.” –Girl, 11 years, UK
  • “Have freedom for all and world peace.” –Boy, 8 years, Brazil

With this great awareness, comes a fair amount of anxiety as none of these issues are easily solvable. I really like the theme of the conference this weekend, because it talks to the “Power in Me” – our ability to make an impact on the larger issues.

And if you don’t think that helps, just remember the starfish story (one of my favorites!):

A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.

She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”

The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference to that one!”

The old man looked at the girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done and said. Inspired, he joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved.

— Adapted from The Star Thrower

Ask kids around you what they’d do if they had the power to change three things in the world, as the conversation is fascinating and insightful. And then help them find ways to feel empowered when facing these big critical issues. Be it TEDxKids, donating to a local charity or even sharing their concerns, like when Severn Suzuki, then 12 yo did the closing speech to the 1992 UN Earth Summit – #mustsee video – and the good news is today with social media, they don’t even have to travel to do it.

Alexandra T. Greenhill, MD, Mother of three, CEO myBestHelper

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