Be sure of your dreams!
Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
“Pooh,” he whispered.
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw,
“I just wanted to be sure of you.”
NOTE: This was originally posted at the new TEDxKids@BC blog. I invite my readers to check the blog out as we’re trying to bring various authors to share their stories and ideas around empowering kids, nurturing passion, fostering creativity, supporting authentic learning!
There were many times in my life when I would dream, often with my eyes open, but it wasn’t until sometime last year that some of those dreams popped out of my head and started running in front of me. It wasn’t something I did that brought them to life. Nor could I control them once they were on their own either. All I could do was to touch them to be sure of them.
“I am just a parent,” I said recently at an educational un-conference, being one of the few odd ones out among a bunch of teachers. “No one is just a parent here,” said Chris, a principal from Agassiz, as he was explaining that kids should be valued for their passion, motivation, interests, skills, instead of measuring them through grades, scores, tests. “It doesn’t matter if you teach kids as a profession. If you have kids of your own, then you’re a teacher too!”
He was right, we’re all teachers, and we’re trusted with the new generation that will inherit this world to prepare them for the challenges that are awaiting them in their future. The words of Sir Ken Robinson, as voiced from the TED 2010 stage, still ring in my ears: “And every day, everywhere, our children spread their dreams beneath our feet. And we should tread softly.”
At TEDxKids@BC we accept seriously the huge responsibility of being teachers – to our own kids, to the kids helping us in the organization of our event, to the kids that will join us in the audience or watch us online. We take to heart Sir Ken’s warning! The kids coming on stage with us will spread their dreams in front of all of us, and we should all tread softly when that happens!
But we adults have dreams too! We’re nothing but older, more experienced kids, hiding behind that silly label “adult” – as if being a child is shameful or in some way diminutive to how we want to be seen by others. It is the risk of being mislabeled “childish” instead of “childlike” that stops many of us from dreaming. But the truth is we all do, we just don’t let our dreams out. We convince ourselves that as long as they stay in our head, no one can squash them and they will stay safe.
I dream of becoming a writer one day. I wish to be able to write every day about topics that interest me, about questions that I don’t know the answers of, about ideas that I would like to try myself, about worlds that I would like to explore. As I said to a friend recently, writing a book is almost a side effect in my dream — I am more interested in the journey than the destination.
The funny thing is, when you let one of your dreams out — and I did that last year when I started blogging — the others seem to reach for the door without asking for permission first.
Inspired by the announcement of a new conference, TEDWomen, at last year’s TEDGlobal in Oxford, I let a little tweet out into the world saying: “Great idea! I wish to see TEDChildren next year!” I wish I could say that the Earth stopped spinning when this happened and I was congratulated for the idea, but the truth is, many turning points in one’s life go by unnoticed for a long time and become significant only later in hindsight.
The real turning point was when I combined my dream with play! On September 7, 2010, I decided that two months hoping that someone would pick-up and run with my idea of TEDChildren was long enough, so I took it upon myself to rally the community to push for it. In a little social media experiment, I created a @TEDChildren Twitter account and published my Call for action – children’s conference at TED.
The story that followed, as they say, is history — you can read about it in my next post!
“When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.”