Listen to the children

children

Children have a way of shaking things up. Don’t they? They see things we’ve stopped noticing. They question things we’ve started to take for granted. They cause us to stop and notice. They hold up a giant mirror to us and cause us to do some soul-searching.

That is, if we take the time to listen.

Why is that person asking for money? Why are people starving? Why do some people get treated better? Why do you say one thing in public but do another in private? Is this fair? Does everyone cheat? Does everyone lie?  Is there a better way?

They force us to confront the gap between what we say they should do and what we do, or what society does, or what their friends do. Most adults suffer from some degree of cognitive dissonance: the mental discomfort from holding two or more differing beliefs, ideas or values at the same time. We value honesty but cheat on our taxes. We tell them not to bully others but then bully them or laugh as others are bullied. We tell them never to hit someone else while spanking them. We tell them all children are precious but then harbor racial or gender biases.

They notice.

And they point it out.

For those of us listening, this is a time to ask ourselves what we do, in fact, stand for and then work to align our lives with those values, to be internally and externally consistent.

For an unbelievably uplifting video of a diverse group of kids singing their hearts out, please watch this video. It will start your day off with hope and promise and excitement for the future of our nation and world.

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