There is a song from the musical, “Into The Woods,” called “Children Will Listen.”  It has been mentioned in a previous Weekly blog post.  When I see the demonstrations occurring around the world and right outside our own White House with red paint smeared at the entrance gates, I can’t help think of that song as many of those protesting for a hostile terrorist regime are of our younger population.  Yes, Children Will Listen” to Tik-Tok, social media influencers and the person with the most likes rather than doing their own doing their own research in a quest to    Learn the history and truth about current events.  The 1960s ushered in an era of, rightfully fought, social injustice for African Americans and women.  Pioneers in the movement, like Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr  and others made brave stands and some, like King, paid a high price for their willingness to put themselves out there for the advancement of others.  Was King perfect?  No.  I recently met a man who had a chance to spend about thirty minutes with him prior to a rally at the University of Pittsburg when he came to speak back in the mid-sixties. The man I met, was a student assigned to monitor the student Union a few evenings a week as an on campus job. He happened to be on the job, assigned to King as a student ambassador when he arrived prior to the rally.  The two sat in an an office in the Union and MLK asked the young dental student what he was studying and then why he choose dentistry.  The young man asked the speaker, who inspired him to his calling as an activist, his response was Mahatma Ghandi, the young man had expected King to say his father as he too was a minister.

     Student activism and young people being involved in causes is nothing new.  College campuses are ripe environments for young men and women to voice their opinions as they develop into the adults they were raised to be, plotting their career paths and making their way in the world.  As a young adult in college, I remember professors that inspired me to learn and grow as a person.  Professors when I was in school presented the information, giving both sides of an argument, leaving us, the students, to decide for ourselves after in-depth discussions, lectures and reading, to decide for ourselves, who was on the right side of history.  One British History professor at the University of Michigan who taught a class on the Revolutionary War from a British perspective was very enlightening.  The professor throughout the semester set the stage for what was going on in Britain leading up the the exploration of the New World, the significance of the monarchy, and the stringent class system.  Near the end of the semester, a paper was assigned for us to answer the question, “Would we have left England with the Pilgrims for the unknown of the New World?”  Followed by a few class periods of discussion on our thoughts.  To me, that was college, learning, sharing ideas, all in a respectful and mind expanding way. 

     I do not doubt that there are discussions like this on some college campuses today, however, what we have seen over the last few weeks concerns me that many students are no getting an opportunity to hear two sides of an issue and given accurate information to make their own assessments and other students are harassed or made to feel uncomfortable about their heritage or their beliefs.  Those activists who spent their lives fighting for equality for all may have felt their actions were in vain if they were here today.  

     If kids aren’t getting accurate information in school, parents need to make sure that they give their children accurate information on current events at home so that THEIR voice is the loudest voice they are hearing.  Know the influences of your children and make sure they have accurate information.  This may mean that YOU need to do your homework on historical facts.  I have seen young people on TV following causes that they are clearly unaware of, merely following the crowd in a herd  mentality.  That is dangerous and often times, people get hurt in these situations.  

     Teach you kids what your family’s values are and what YOU believe in.  Those who  have anger in their hearts over generations have sown seeds of anger in minds in the Middle East.  There are many who have lived in that part of the world for generations and do not have that anger, because they have sown good seeds of righteousness. In Old Jerusalem and other communities in the Middle East, I’m sure, Christian, Jews and Muslims live together and do not have conflict.  Unfortunately, it is those who speak the loudest about the hatred, are most heard and for the young impressionable heart and mind, they are easily influenced if no one has exposed them to history and facts.  These young impressionable individuals are easily recruited for unlawful and evil causes, sadly.  

     Be the voice your child hear when they are faced with important decisions in life to choose right or wrong, good or evil.  It matters and their life depends on it…

“Children will look to you for which ways to turn, to learn what to be,

Careful before you say, listen to me, Children will listen,

Careful the wish you make, Wishes are children

Careful the path you take wishes come true…”

“Children Will Listen lyrics from the musical, “Into the Woods” lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

The point of the song is children are our most precious resource as they are our future.  They listen when we least expect it, so we must be mindful about what they are hearing. Consider the great days to be had, in a world where seeds of goodness are sown into a child’s heart and mind 🍎

Teaching Tuesday are available every Tuesday with Mrs. Burau