My Daughter is an Activist
I was a child of the 60’s and 70’s.
I grew up a space baby, the son of a National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) employee. Back then, the race was on to reach the moon before the stroke of midnight at the end of the decade. What a great time to be a kid.
Growing up, I was always active in nature; whether it was surfing, fishing, or camping. For me nature was a playground, sure it needed protecting but that rarely crossed my mind in those days.
Sure, there were environmental issues
In school we learned about the many animals that were extinct and many more needing protection. Heck, I grew up in Florida when Alligators were considered endangered. And, when Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) almost cost us our national symbol the Bald Eagle. Even worked a hot summer in the swamps of Florida for the Youth Conservation Corp.
The evening news did not plaster the perils of the planet nor have non-stop talk of a global climate crisis! It was not ingrained in me that a kid could really make a difference. Or that a difference even needed to be made.
It just wasn’t an option
Recycling was not even an option. “Paper or Plastic? No thanks I brought my own reusable bags,” was never a conversation at the grocery store. Electric vehicles were not even a gleam in little Elon’s eyes. And we weren’t doing beach clean-ups.
Activism in the 60’s and 70’s, whether social or environmental, was a grown-up thing and us kids left it up to the grown-ups to get things right.
We played, we went to school, we didn’t worry about the planet.
My Little Activist
My daughter is an activist. What does that really mean? In this case, it does not mean she is on the bow of the Sea Shepherd or skipping school for the last two years to call attention to climate change.
She did grow up an ocean baby developing a love for the ocean and all its critters. Surfing with the dolphins and watching baby turtles hatch and scramble for safety.
We are lucky in our little corner of the world. You can walk for miles on the beach without seeing a single piece of trash. So, she did not grow up seeing firsthand the mess on many beaches around the world.
Growing up a cyber baby will be different than growing up a space baby.
These days kids are bombarded with news, information, disinformation, stories, rumors and more. It’s an all-out social media blitz from Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook on the minds of our youth.
Recipe for a young activist?
Take the influence of today’s information age and combine that with a love of the ocean. Add a little compassion, responsibility, and persistence. Now you have the making of a young lady who understands the greater picture of the world she lives in.
Values to live by.
It means she lives by her values. It means she leads by example; she takes the time to do what is right, she helps to educate, and she has a voice.
She plays, she goes to school AND she worries about the planet.
She believes she can make a difference and that is important. That belief has led her to create a group of her peers (FB Goes Green) focused on getting them involved in the local community. She works as an ocean ambassador for Starboard and Shore Buddies where she can help advocate for the environment.
All this may seem little in the grand scheme of things, but I think they are huge. One small voice that becomes many. One living by values becomes many.
The influence can be great and infectious.
Our family has certainly adjusted for the good. We are much more conscious of our decisions and consider their impact on the planet. Heck even Nana and Space Papa are now recycling because of my little activist. That is something they certainly did not ever consider on their own. So yes, you can teach old dog’s new tricks.
Yes, my daughter is a little activist with one small voice changing hearts and minds.
May there be millions of little activists ready to help this planet.
There are kids trying to make big changes whether it is Greta or Malala, their influences cannot be denied. But to make true great change it is going to take many. I hope there is a generational shift and the few become the many and all become advocates for the planet. Some day they won’t be viewed as activists, rather living by the right values, and doing the right thing.
I have great hopes for the new generation and the tide is turning with a new generation to take care of our planet.
For the Good