Young Voices

August 3, 2015 at 3:51 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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“This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease.” – Robert Kennedy

A couple of weeks ago I came across the video above that had gone viral on social media. It seemed to be resonating with many, from different parts of the world, on a multitude of levels; as evidenced by the various comments and news articles online that I read. For me though as I watched, I was reminded of the value and importance of creating spaces for and listening to young voices.

“Rather than standing or speaking for children, we need to stand with children speaking for themselves. We don’t need a political movement for children… [we need to] build environments and policies for our collective future.” – Sandra Meucci

I consider myself very fortunate to be able to work alongside and support the learning, leadership and social/emotional development of young people through our School based programs. Just the other day a Year 6 girl during our L.E.A.D. with Courage™: Stage 3 Leaders Program was telling me and the group of her favourite Galileo quote — ‘You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself’. The activity that we were doing at the time was bringing up connections for the participants about the wisdom that lies within us all. It was inspiring to see another cohort of children own their ability to ‘be the change’ within their journeys of potential, while still appreciating the interdependence that supports theirs and all of our growth, development, connection and joy.

“Children, after all, are not just adults-in-the-making. They are people whose current needs and rights and experiences must be taken seriously.” – Alfie Kohn

I remember many years back, as I worked in an Outdoor Education Centre, someone from within the organisation asking me, ‘didn’t I grow tired of facilitating a combination of the same activities each week for different clients’. I was quite puzzled by the question as I went on to describe my love of the facilitation process, where I get to use many vehicles (activities, teachable moments, fun, stories, debriefs, etc.) to open myself and each participant up to engage with, be challenged and inspired by, and ultimately make connection to meaningful thoughts, words and actions that will help us individually and as a group effectively navigate the road ahead. This process is an open, holistic and dynamic one, requiring us all to release our sometimes limiting predetermined labels, roles, ways of being, relationships or control, and meet each moment through a lens of curiosity, wonder, honesty, opportunity and compassion. This can indeed be challenging, but so worth it when you get to be apart of the authentic and empowering experiences that can be shared.

“There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long- range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.” – John F. Kennedy

What resonates for you while watching the linked video above? Where in your own journey of potential do you have thoughts about waiting for, comparing or judging someone else for not bringing about change, whilst maybe missing out on the chance to ‘be the change’ through your own thoughts, words and actions? How can we most effectively foster, encourage and support informed, connected and empowered young voices in our communities?

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