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Today I took my nephew, Adam, 12 years old and my granddaughter, Carolee, 8 on a magical mystery tour of imagination. After some consultation we decided to go to the Science Store first, a landmark for my three grandchildren. There are a lot of science kits, things, toys for anyone 3- 80 years to enjoy. The kids got stuff and I even found a soil test kit that I think will work in our garden, after three failures earlier.
Next we went to one of the Kopps Custard stores for a Kopps burger and custard. Both youth thought the Kopps burger was the ‘best burger’ they ever had. I am not sure about that but it is good and ‘big’.
Next it was to the Lake Michigan Waterfront to feed the ducks and geese in a lagoon stale bread, a tradition that goes back to my childhood. Preparation for a water ski show in the lagoon this weekend had chased away most of the birds. But we found two ducks and two geese that enjoyed the bread.
After touring the lakefront we started to head home and I remember that I was close to the Urban Ecology Center. I remember the first time I took my two older grandsons there. They were convinced that it would be boring. But they left agreeing with my friend that had recommended the place that it was a fascinating, fun place. My nephew did not have much of a prejudice against the place since my granddaughter kept telling him how great it was. So he, as I and my granddaughter did, enjoyed it. The goal of the day was to use our imagination and I think we did that.
Tonight reading my emails I remembered why I enjoy the company of children over adults. One of my friends wrote me about four events he or his community was sponsoring in one week in August. They will all be simple protest where most members of his community will not participate, in fact there will not be many persons at all. There are all types of peace and justice organizations and individuals doing all kinds of education or protest events. Since my friend has been so supportive I have joined him in many of his protest, although often there are just two or three of us. But so many individuals and groups ‘doing their thing’ to me seems self defeating. If we really thought of ourselves in a nonviolent war against violence and injustice we would work together to focus on something we can do and win and fight together in a bigger battle.
Once and awhile we do come together as the opposition against the Wisconsin Governor and Republican Legislature after they got in power in 2010. But just at the peak of the nonviolent power movement we were divided into doing electoral politics which are won by the most money, something people do not have. The Occupy Movement at first seemed to offer hope and unity. But so many groups did their “own thing” and the movement got divided.
Youth know a good thing when they taste it, like frozen custard or a hamburger. They see it when they enter the Urban Ecology center. They unite when good things happen. Adults, with all their good education, when things seem to be happening for change get divided and competitive.
Work Together like youth and not be divided like adults is the lesson of day.