How brilliant children are! They learn so quickly. They usually are unafraid to express themselves. They have so much talent. Too bad the lights get turned out sometimes.
There was a little boy in our neighborhood many decades ago who was stunningly bright. At 4, his vocabulary was large, his eyes were alert, he related well to adults as well as friends of his own age.
We didn’t see him for a while – everyone in our family was busy with our own cares and concerns. One day he came to the door looking for our son to play with. He’d been in kindergarten for several months. We were amazed at the change in him. Eyes dimmed and not connecting with us, the grownups. But he seemed to come back to his original brightness after being out of school for a few hours.
He and my son were good for each other – challenging themselves to learn more and more from books and/or computers. That was some 30+ years ago. They were both early adopters.
In about fifth grade, he and several friends got upset about rumors that some beloved trees around his elementary school, because the trees were dropping sap and leaves on teachers’ cars parked out front. IFO encouraged him to get political – circulate a petition around the school pleading to let the trees live. He demurred. He already felt powerless.
In high school, administrators were clamping down on “gang clothing.” A silly idea in that town that was 99% white and Hispanic (pre-gang – gangs did move in about 15 years later – inspired by the authorities making them sound interesting?) and there were no gangs anywhere in our state except in our largest city. Those gang members were all Black. The Hispanics and Asians didn’t come until later. Much later.
Anyway, back in that day, administrators’ rules prohibited certain colors, certain clothing styles and other things that her young friend considered ridiculous. Once again IFO urged him to get political. “You and all your friends should wear suits and ties with white shirts,” we urged. “Show them that there can be all kinds of gang clothing, some approved.” We joked that police were dressed the same, too. But he demurred. Still and to this day, defeated.
Of course, he’s not alone. Many Americans feel powerless and defeated. This is how tyranny gets established withut anyone firing a shot. Of course, today many municipal police departments are becoming militarized, even in the total absence of any cause. Guess you can’t be too careful and it wouldn’t do to be unprepared, would it?
Enough of this depressing stuff. Let us treasure the wonderful mind of the child who drew the Life of Tree (Tree of Life, Etz Chaim!) in the picture above. That child knows how to show in one simple picture that trees are renewable, and give shelter and jobs to millions of people all over the world. Would that the environmentalists were as smart as that child!