Wednesday, September 17, 2014



Our world is troubled.

No matter what is going on in our personal lives- good, bad, or indifferent-- we cannot deny the state of the world.

We read the news and we despair.
We shake our heads.
We weep for our children and the world that we are offering them.

We had so hoped to give  them a better place, a fairer situation, a more peaceful existence.
A world of enough-- of abundance even.
A safe home in our global world in which each family member is welcome and happy,  in which each person is both full and fulfilled.

Instead, we are disconnected and fearful.
We talk and talk--- and we avoid talking about  the most  important things.
We don't seem to want to have honest conversations about hunger and poverty, about race and hatred, about religion and culture, about choice and  identity, about education and opportunity, about life and death.

We distrust whole groups as "other."
We watch as "other" kills "other."

Our world is troubled.

We had seen the heads of two of our citizens handed to us on proverbial TV trays,
We  have witnessed invasions into sovereign nations and the senseless brutal slaughter of multitudes.
We have seen kidnappings of hundreds of young girls, who remain unrescued.
We have witnessed murders across our nation of unarmed young black men with their hands in the air in surrender.
We  want to close our eyes and black out the visions,  erase the images that haunt our nights and color our days.

We want to tell fairy tales and fables, but not include the truth.

We face the systematic elimination of  our rights.
We watch as power cooperates with power.
We witness as money buys more money.

Our world is troubled.

How can we remake this world?
What can we do to begin the process of rebuilding, restoring, reconciling?

We dream of a world that feeds and clothes and shelters  all of us --in collaboration and cooperation.

We adults think about this.

Our children think about it also--  more that we know-- and probably in ways we have not imagined.

What would happen if they ran the world?
How would they fix it?

That is the question that Leo and Diane Dillon ponder in their latest offering If Kids Ran the World.

Note: This is also the last offering in which they will collaborate.  Leo Dillon died  May 26, 2012.  This was the project on which they were working at the time.

In this world run by children, the important things are recognized and successfully addressed: 

...everyone would have enough  to eat... a safe place to live... medicine they needed..
Everyone would laugh a lot more... no bullying.... good places that kept some people out...
People would take care of the planet... have religious freedom...
People would live together in peace. No more hate...
Our world is troubled.
Our world is broken.
I want to live in the world described by the Dillons.

This book can help us begin conversations with our youth about a different way, a different world.
This book might even help us adults begin a new conversation, as well.

What does your new world look like?

 Sometimes, even if life is orderly and neat and seemingly perfect, there can be more.
 We can imagine more.  We can envision "different."

For our smallest children, thinking about how to create a new world could begin with The Numberlys.

William Joyce and Christina Ellis start our own brains turning as we watch the numberlys transform their world of only numbers and limited possibilities into a world of numbers and letters and endless "amazements."

From the numberlys, we learn that what is doesn't have to be all there is.  We learn that we can be active conceivers and  creators-- agents of change in our world.

What does your new world look like?  How can you be an agent of change to create this new world?

Sometimes just getting to know each other is the start of a more beautiful world. Listening to each other, learning from and about each other can be the start of a new world.

For four years now, Brandon Stanton had been capturing people in photographs and collecting their stories as well.  He is now in the middle of  a United Nations Tour-- traveling across our globe  to ten nations in 50 days, capturing images  and stories of folks  and sharing with us.   So far he has been to Iraq, Jordan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda Ukraine, and India.

Click here  for his new global images and stories.

How do the people in these places  imagine a better world?

For more about his United Nations Tour and the   Millennium Goals of which he is raising awareness, click here.

For more about Brandon Stanton and his Humans of New York Project, see my previous post, Humans of New York: A Photographic Census.

What does a better world look like to the people he is meeting in these countries?
What does a better world look like to you?

Our world is troubled.

Yet, I leave you with this beautiful expression of hope from Tomorrow's Child by Rubin Alves :
What is hope?
It is the pre -sentiment that imagination
is more real and reality is less real than it looks.
It is the hunch that the overwhelming brutality
of facts that oppress and repress us
is not the last word.
Read the entire poem, Tomorrow's Child here.

What is your hope for our world?

 Additional Posts for  Starting Conversations about Remaking Our World.

The Rights of Children

Wars and Rumors of Wars

War Stories

Open Season on Black Men

 Today's Deeper Writing Possibilities

List your most important concerns about our world today?
How would you like to see these concerns addressed?

Who has the power to make the changes you would like to see?
What actions can you take to make your desired changes a reality?

Write an essay about your new world.

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