None of us can be oblivious to the endless stream of bad news – bad stories, bad media coverage. Horrible events and forecasts of doom, amplified and recycled, at times almost indistinguishable from the grossest forms of entertainment and inextricably linked to the hate speech used to generate fear and violent divisions.
Social media means that people, including many children, receive news bulletins while they are alone, undefended against images of horror and messages designed to isolate and terrify. How have we come to create, and tacitly condone, such a world, when every instinct of parents and teachers is to shield and protect our children?
How can we honestly sustain hope and optimism for them? All of us have a part to play in creating hope, but not by parroting the same old answers to outdated ideas.
Hope does not spring from unthinking compliance and unquestioning obedience to institutional authority; nor does it grow out of the mindless refusal to recognise truth or deny facts. Hope arises from the experience of finding creative solutions, sharing them and seeking out those others who see opportunities for change.
Hope comes from that understanding that change is generated from our imaginations; that imagination needs to be nurtured and respected as the greatest of human capacities. Preshil has always stood for the primacy of human imagination, expressed through play and creativity, through questioning orthodoxies and having the courage and the self-belief to articulate a different view.
Many of our students experienced last week’s action on climate change as a moment of hope and possibility. They had the opportunity to experience the thrill of action, of joining with thousands of others with the dream of creating change and taking charge of their own futures.
Preshil will continue to challenge its children to think and to question, to act and to speak out, and to ultimately grow into thoughtful, responsible, informed, passionate and articulate adults who will do what they can to influence the world for the better. Courage p30
As adults we may not always agree with them – but then that’s the point, isn’t it?