While we are all citizens of the world, few of us take our citizenship seriously. Beyond reading newspapers or listening to the news, beyond voting, beyond recycling, beyond attending a civic association meeting every once in a while, we limit our participation to complaining about what is happening out there. And there is a lot to complain about, so we are kept pretty busy doing that part of it.
Life in the Boomer Lane has a neighbor/friend who takes her world citizenship seriously, and she manages to manifest her responsibility in addition to raising two children, training for triathlons, and being an advocate for the improvement of educational services in the county. In her job, she created the first ever project in which scientists from around the world traveled to North Korea to collaborate with North Korean scientists on non-military scientific issues. If you think that’s an easy thing, you should know that that first meeting took seven years to effect. And she followed it up with a second meeting a couple of years later. She is nothing if not focused. She cares and she advocates. She sees possibility where many of us see only frustration. She holds salons in her home, where people who hold positions of authority around the world commit themselves to effecting change. She is, quite simply, exactly how she describes herself: a change agent.
Because her children are now teens, and because some of her focus has now shifted to the need to have young people be change agents as well, her latest project is The Teen Video Competition, open to teens in 6th through 12th grade. The competition has three dream categories, (1) personal dreams (2) dreams for their community, neighborhood, city, state or country or (3) dreams for the world. At a time when many people have discarded their dreams, the Teen Video Competition does what is so badly needed in our world: to support teens in giving creative expressive to their dreams and aspirations. Teens are invited to become change agents, as well.
In a nutshell, “If we want to create a global community of change agents, the first step is to empower the next generation. If ‘our dream’ is realized, we will have hundreds if not thousands of teens across the world thinking and expressing their dreams and how they would like to see them realized.”
LBL has spoken to “hundreds, if not thousands,” of women-of-a-certain age over the years about their own dreams. She knows that dreams can be elusive, and that people can live their lives never even knowing that they have any. She understands fully well that dreams, like children, don’t grow on their own. They need nourishment and encouragement. And she knows that sometimes, all it takes is for a person to be invited to share a dream in order to give that dream life.
This teen competition is important, because it sends the invitation out to people who either haven’t even started forming their dreams yet, or who have dreams but have not manifested them yet. There are monetary prizes. But the money is a distant second to the invitation to be heard. That’s the most important part.
Most of LBLs readers are in the over-55 age category. But she knows that many of these readers either have teens at home or have grandchildren who are teens. Others have teens in their families or teen neighbors. So she is asking you a huge favor, one that she has rarely done in any blog post. Spread the word. On Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram, on your own blogs. On whatever other social media outlets that you are plugged into.
We always say that young people are our future. The question is: What do we want that future to look like? This is the opportunity we all have to support a future that enriches us all.