Sunday, April 25, 2010

Adora Svitak: What adults can learn from kids

By Crystal O.

Everyone has either experienced being called or has called someone "childish" at least once in their lifetime. But, has anyone really looked further into the past, present or future, to figure out how this simple word has affected humans?

Tons of people use the word to an advantage of criticism but, is it truly correct or is this just the fun and games of being a mature person? Even Adora Svitak, a 12 year old girl can tell you the wrong tone this word has taken on. Adora starts off with a bland, wide statement of "When is the last time you have been called childish? For kids like me, being called childish can be a frequent occurrence." Now obviously, being told that you are acting like a 6 year old is not the greatest phrase you might want to hear. Adora explains that even though we are exhibiting normal human emotions, we are considered to be childish. She uses some major, worldwide events to show how being childish is "apparently" not what adults do, but rather what kids like her decide to do. Examining further, you find out that terrorizing actions have been made by "non-childish" adults. Adora states, "Imperialism, World Wars, George W. Bush, ask yourself whose responsible, adults!" She then looks at specific examples of so called "childish" children and how they have effected the world, telling a totally different story. From Anne Frank to Ruby Bridges to Charlie Simpson, none of them have caused World Wars or any other adult-like destruction.

Moving on, Miss Svitak conquers the thoughts on dreaming. When dreaming, kids strive towards perfection, like making the world a better place even though those things might not be possible. On the other hand, adults know that these things won't work, and stop dreaming about things they believe
won't become reality. She shows some of the stained glass made by adults that were designed by kids and elaborates on how once again, kids don't think of the tough work behind making the glass, they think of good ideas. "Kids already do a lot of learning from adults, and we have a lot to share." The sad thing is, not many adults believe in the imagination of children.

Next in line, Adora speaks on the topic of trust. The reason most adults don't try to learn from kids, is because of the lack of trust. She then tells a true but funny story of the lack of trust between her and her sister. Adora believes that the adult population should take into terms the needs and wants of the younger population as well. She analyses the truth of how kids love challenges but, when underestimated by adults, aren't up for much of a competition. She ends off with a quick analogy between what kids are today and what they can be in the future and asks the present adult population today to lend an ear for the leaders of tomorrow.

Adora Svitak, being a kid herself, can make a lot of clear, unsuspected points that are oblivious to the adult population. I love the true fact she makes on how wide and creative a child's imagination can be. She understands that a young one's mind doesn't struggle with the restrictions and limitations the world has, but rather tends to think of strong, creative, amazing ideas that make the world seem easy to live in. Now, this is the part that confuses adults. All of these cool ideas haven't been introduced to them since they lived their childhood. Adora encourages the adult population to travel back to the easy times, when being a kid meant the world was a fun place, and a huge place to explore. She is exactly right when she justifies that adults learning from kids should be reciprocal to kids learning from adults. Being a kid, we are always told what to do and when we do something wrong. Adults bring back that nasty word - childish.

I believe kids should have more room to think, and be able to share their ideas with adults, without being judged on what they think. You never know, there could be an idea a child might have, that could change the whole world. Children need time to grow and think; it's the choices that we come up with, that make us who we are today. Like Adora was explaining, if we are the leaders of tomorrow, the leaders of today need to trust us, and collaborate with us, in order for everyone to learn to make this world a better place. The statement "The way progress happens is because new generations, and new eras grow and develop and become better than the previous ones, it's the reason why we aren't in the dark ages anymore." shows the trust that different age groups shared with each other. So, why can't we be like that today?

In conclusion, without teamwork and collaboration in this world, civilization would have been completely destroyed. All we need to do now, is take away that word "childish" and replace it with new words like "trust," "care," "imagination," and "encouragement" because the future brings new ideas and those ideas, come from the children of today.

1 comment:

  1. Crystal,
    I'm one of Christian Long's students working on the TEDxClassroomProject blog. My name is Darcy.
    Your summary is very good! I compliment your voice. I did an extra credit analysis on Adora's presentation and found her highly engaging and optimistic. I think her personal story would is fascinating enough. She represents an ambitious type of person who, because they were given limitless space to be creative and taken seriously as a child, will be limitless in her imagination eternally. If we could encourage and bolster all children like Adora has been encouraged and supported, an entire generation would be raised upon fundamentally different principles and would positively affect the world. If we grow up into an adult life with the ability to think irrationally, we could create an irrational world.
    It may seem illogical to think this, but its fairly simple: people who have rationally functioning minds have limits upon what they can accomplish. They simply cant reverse gravity because they think they cant. However, if there was a generation of thinkers who held limitless imaginations, they could create anything. They would become devoted, as Adora is, and make anything they want happen, regardless of how silly it seemed. Personally, I think its essential that the way schools and parents raise their kids is changed to suit their creative needs as opposed to their success in the "real world."