We started out using the facilitating guide in the advocate toolkit.
“What do you value?”
“Mine is cheesy, mom. I wrote LOVE.”
“That’s perfectly OK.”
“So what can you do to bring more LOVE into your life?”
“Sleep.” (laughs all around)
“Create things to give to other people.”, my 16 yr old son offers. I’m amazed because we haven’t even talked about caregiving yet. This just seems to come naturally to them. I decide to just zip my lip and let them lead this. They discuss how different things bring us joy and how in the beginning maybe everything in our current “economy” started as creating joy but somehow became “transactional”. They, of course, don’t know this word. They called it “GIVE AND TAKE”, not in the sense that we usually think about that phrase, but to mean simply, the passing of items from one to another. Wow, they have just stumbled up the concepts of market economy by themselves. They get it. They really get it. So we brainstorm about what kinds of thing are “transactional” and they figure out that these are areas in which the needs of others are followed and satisfied in order to make profit, and for the most part are tangible products. We explore examples.
Now I am curious…..
“So what about the stuff we wrote on our sticky notes, the things we value? Do they belong in the “GIVE and TAKE” category?”
“No (all sticky notes are moved to another part of the poster)”
“Well…hmm, so what do we call this section here if it is NOT, GIVE and TAKE?”
“CREATE and RECEIVE”
“Wow. I love that. That really captures something loving and joyful, so caring.”
“I have an example, mom.”, says my 13 yr old daughter. “You tube”
“Tell me about that.”
She explains that most youtubers, until recently, created content with no intention of taking anything from anyone. Just to share, just to make others laugh. And then she notices that recently the quality of the content has suffered now that ad revenue is the goal of many youtubers. She notices that they seem not to CARE (that’s the word she finds). They seem to just be going through the motions, making sure that their videos are more than 10 minutes, so they can get the ad revenue.
CREATE and RECEIVE. Partnership.
GIVE and TAKE. Domination.
I introduce these two words. They have no trouble seeing it. It seems obvious to them. They are like, “YEAH and…..”, as if it is absolutely obvious.” I giggle. If you only knew how many people are blinded to this concept.
Children are our future. Let them lead the way. Trite but oh so true.
Now I am curious again. Will the adults that I present this to, take to this so quickly....it only took me 45 years.