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Archive for January 20th, 2011

Kids can be Amazing

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Today was spent, in large part, setting up a new internet service at our house. When it appeared that we were up and running, I decided to test by viewing a few videos. Some work better than others, though I am not surprised.

But what I found? Kids. Amazing incredible kids. Very, very different videos, but quite inspiring. Clearly kids are spending time on what interests them/matters to them. I came away with a lovely boost of hope.

First, a speech by 11-year-old Birke Baehr at TED-x Asheville. He is interested in the foods we eat, how they are grown and how they impact our bodies when we eat them. His speech is only 5 minutes, but it’s powerful, clear, and funny.


Then I went to a post by Jonathan Fields, which was entitled “Grumpy?” He did what he could to turn around a grumpy day. First he shares a story which helped him reframe the day, then he shows this video of three young ones dancing like pros!

It’s clear these kids dance any time they can. The passion is clear. Love this.

young dancers youtube

Tomorrow I get to teach a friend’s 6 -year-old daughter how to knit. I am looking forward to it. Here’s a photo of some kids I taught in the past:

The girl at bottom right in a pink t-shirt, was five years old when I taught her to knit. I’ve never seen a child want to knit so badly!

The first day I worked with her, she struggled with her undeveloped fine-motor skills. I spent over half an hour with her, holding my hands on hers and saying a knitting poem to help remember the motions.

She had it all down by the end of the class. The lovely young one turned into a passionate, dedicated knitter.

She knit any time she possibly could, and the last time I saw her, she was working on a TANK TOP. Yup. I have no doubt that she finished it, either. The parents were all for it, and she could barely wait to knit again any time she had to leave it behind.

Picture at right? This elementary-aged child noticed that someone had donated a kit to knit a frog purse. She knit the frog, almost all at home without my assistance. It was her first time on double-pointed needles if I remember right.

Yes, she was unusual, but there were plenty of backpacks, mittens and socks back in my community center days. Most of my kids there were between 2nd and 5th grades. They learned how to figure things out, rather than following patterns precisely. Looks like a frog to me!

There are many other great stories I recall. I’ll just leave you by saying that I am inspired by children often. Kids in elementary school are used to being imperfect at new tasks. They want to master skills so that they can look older.

“This isn’t hard, look at me knit with my eyes closed” is one thing I hear from 3rd graders from time to time. Yeah! Their enthusiasm inspires me.

If you find you are down or losing faith, I recommend spending some time with children, if possible. Eleanor Roosevelt wrote:

It is impossible to be a cynic if you live a good deal with young people. Fundamentally, every young person has a feeling that the future is going to hold something of value.
Eleanor Roosevelt
“You Learn by Living”