Walk Out or Walk Up
When a child tells you they want to be an astronaut,you respond by saying "that's awesome!" or "You can totally do that!". You don't bother them with logistics. You don't interrogate their motivations.
Is it because Elizabeth wants to be an astronaut?
Do you have any idea how long it takes to go to school for that?
And how hard the training is?
Most people who want that job never actually get there?
You have to be in great physical shape, do you exercise?
No. You don't need to know what you are getting yourself into. Hell, half the time adults don't have a clue what they are getting themselves into. Having children, anyone? Children have taken to the streets by the, quite admirable, numbers. They are organized protests to call attention to school shootings in ways that have never been done before. In the meantime, we have politicians specifically chosen to represent us (and yes, our teenage children) publicly stating that "kids don't make laws". I don't know at what point we were supposed to grow up and stop being children. If it wasn't between clouds of marijuana and shots of hypnotic, maybe it was along broken condoms and pregnancy tests, or, quite possibly, while dodging bullets from behind a tipped desk- fingers frantically finicking figures on phones. Maybe it happened when you enrolled in the military and committed to a 10 year contract. Or when your mother signed the paper to let you get married at 15 because you were knocked up - it doesn't matter if he held you down. Certainly it wasn't at 18 when you crossed that long-awaited finish line and finally learned everything you needed to pass the License to Adult test. Alternatively, if kids don't make laws then it seems that we are missing the entire point of our existence. I knew nothing about life. I knew nothing about love, motivation, work, commitment, until kids taught it to me. All I know is shaped by exactly how kids make laws. Maybe they're not the ones writing them, but they are the ones inspiring every type of regulation that exists. From car seats and seatbelts to FDA approvals, to mandatory vaccination.
So when you witness someone protesting, and you do not support them (or simply do not understand), internalize that what they are doing is contributing in the very most powerful way they have available to them. Kids or not, your voice is powerful and needs to be heard.
We have a long-standing tradition of supporting dreams and aspirations. of teaching babies that they can be anything. Through proper use of civil disobedience, they can actually start to do this.
Then we have teachers across the country posting signs about walking UP to people, making friends, preventing bullying. Do we not understand that telling a child that a school shooting could have been prevented through curbing peer abuse is a for a victim blaming? A woman who is battered by her spouse constantly feels that he was provoked and that she is at blame- do we now extend this, also, to the students? Maybe if you hadn't ostracized this person they wouldn't have blown your brains out. Bullying is terrible. It needs to be prevented. But saying that instead of raising together in protest for stricter gun regulations, kids need to invite the new kid to their lunch table is insulting.
What do you think makes you an "adult"? Does everyone eventually get there? Comment below!