Remember when we all used to think that the future would be like The Jetson’s? We’d all live in houses in the sky, fly around in hovercrafts, and have robotic maids do our housework. It was fun to envision an entirely new way of living, and now in 2018, that is what we’ve gotten…sort of. Despite plenty of technological advancements, the more important matters have moved – let’s say – backward. In some ways we’ve made huge strides, but we’ve failed entirely to improve in others. We have a long way to go, and although we’ve made a lot of progress, I’m pretty sure the Roomba vacuum is as close as we’re going to get to life with a housekeeper named Rosie. I keep hoping that any day now, we’ll hear a laughing track in the background and anything bad going on will be wrapped up in 30 minutes…but I think that this might actually be real life…and I’m not laughing.
The future is nothing like I thought it would be.
I’m scared – all of the time. I’m scared of the division that’s worked its way between all of us; that seems to have crept in overnight and slowly spread its poison through the cracks with each passing day. I’m scared that politics has taken over every aspect of conversation and debates are had before breakfast is even served. That words are no longer spoken, digested and understood…but are screamed about, pushed aside and ignored. Everyone hears, but no one listens. People’s minds have become as closed off as the doors to opportunity. I’m scared that equality in every form has taken a back seat, and hasn’t been embraced and celebrated as it should be by now. I’m scared of how cold and heartless we’ve become. I’m afraid that everything and everyone has become a threat, and you no longer know who can be trusted. Tragic stories fill our daily feeds and we don’t know the difference between the 5:00 news and a horror movie. (I’ll take cartoons any day.) I’m terrified of having to send our kids to school and pray for their safety, and that I will have to do my best to hide these fears from them. I hate that as parents, we’re having to learn how to teach our sons and daughters to be cautious, while also managing to shield them from some of the dangers going on around us. I’m devastated that this is the world they’re growing up in. I want so much more for them. I want more for all of us.
I never thought we would be here. I never could have imagined we would see all of this in our lifetime. I’m so tired of living in fear.
What keeps me from losing all faith in the world are the beautiful things that still surround us when paying close enough attention. Like a random act of kindness from a stranger or hearing a heartwarming story that lifts my spirits. Or seeing our kids make friends with anyone and everyone on the playground, and being better human beings to each other than any adult I’ve ever come across.
That almost gives me a crazy idea.
Maybe kids should run the world for us. Maybe they could restore our faith in humanity by simply being them. Let them teach us how to be compassionate, gentle, and loving. Let them show us how to take turns with one another and share. That you can’t take something from someone else without their permission. Let them remind us of kindness and empathy. Allow them to lead by example – to stay innocent and pure, while being resilient and determined. They’re smarter than we realize; soaking up knowledge every day like sponges. They could educate us in all the areas we lack. They find humor in the smallest things – things that aren’t at the expense of someone else. They are not malicious and don’t live with the intent of hurting others. They don’t put people down, nor are they condescending. They are simple and uncomplicated. They are FEARLESS. They are accepting of what they don’t understand, as true leaders should be. They see no color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender. (Unless they suspect cooties, of course.) They bicker with each other, yes, but are back to holding hands in 5 minutes; their argument long forgotten, because life is too much fun to waste time being mad. They don’t judge and have no ulterior motives. They will be truthful with you and tell it like it is, because what kid isn’t unapologetically honest? They have a way of bringing out pure joy and happiness in people – in bringing us together. They have open minds and even more open hearts. They’re wonderful human beings already. How could they not be? They haven’t had a chance to be jaded by society yet. They’re blank canvases waiting to be painted. They (hopefully) don’t know cruelty or violence, and haven’t grown a mean bone in their tiny bodies. They see life so differently than us. The way we used to, before we all got sucked into growing up. We need all of that right now. We need it more than anything.
They will do good. Much more good than I think we’re all capable of doing.
It’s ironic, really. So many adults act like children these days. Yet maybe if our actual children were allowed to take the lead and show us the way, we’d feel confident enough to follow. I think it’s possible that they might have the power to do something we’ve yet to discover how to do.
We need to do better. We’ve lost sight of what’s truly important and have strayed too far from the path. We’ve completely lost our way. We’re breaking and we need help. Get out there and vote for the kids, because it’s time for us adults to learn a thing or two. I’m ready to see our world through the eyes of a child again.