I am trying to remember exactly when it happened, four or five years ago, Michelle alerted me to an amazing author series hosted by the DMA. We try to pick one each year to go see. We haven't bombed yet. Some have been filled with humor, other have been more serious, but all have some life nugget involved. Last night was no exception and perhaps had even a few more than usual.
1.) In an age when we are acutely aware of the effects of bullying, it is important to help our children develop a thick skin towards people who put them down and belittle them out of meanness, and yet remain open and accessible to those who love and care about them.
2.) Children have a lot of concerns about what kind of world they will inherit from us. By 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish. We are in a position to make policies to do something about it, they are not. No matter what we believe, delivering the most healthy planet possible into their hands matters.
3.). One of my favorite stories of a personal nature was about her grandmother Ginger. Ginger spent a lot of her childhood being abandoned. At age 8, Ginger was given two train tickets, one for herself and one for her two year old sibling, to make the two day journey from the East coast to Los Angles alone to live with her Grandparents. When Ginger was about to turn 14, she was told she could go to work and be responsible for herself. Ginger's perspective, she was blessed to have been born in the US. Even growing up poor with adversity, it was her right as a citizen to receive a free public education. Being poor is a setback. Being poor and uneducated is almost insurmountable. Adversity leaves time for little else. Chelsea brought up a beautiful point instilled in her by her Grandmother. Her privilege allowed her time to focus on helping others. She could do anything she wanted to with her life, but it needed to involve thinking beyond herself and giving service.
4). Being the daughter of successful parents did not put pressure on her to do something with her life in near the way being a Mom has.
5). People ask her all the time if she plans to run for office because of her last name. She thinks this should not be a question reserved for the children of famous politicians. It should be a question we ask each other. A question we ask ourselves. We forget there is so much within our control at the local level. Perhaps this is because Civics is not being taught to children in elementary and junior high but it should be. Recycling stars at the local level. Changes in the criminal justice system start at the local level. My kids have totally got the three branches of our government down. But last night I realized they don't know about district attorneys, the school board, city council, it goes on and on.
All and all, It's Your World may be geared toward youth, but the message to get informed, get inspired, and get going, is one we can all use.