Fighting Poverty with Passion
Seeds and kids are kinda similar.
I love seeds because they are the only thing in the universe from which a plant can come. We cannot manufacture trees or synthesize real flowers from any material using any process. Despite all our supposed might and skill, the only place to get a rose bush is from other roses.
Life is preserved through momentum and continuance. It does not start completely over, it does not take breaks. Life continues from life.
Young people are similar. Our children are the only source of our future human endeavors. Just as gardeners protect and care for seeds, we must all protect and care for young people. And just as one seed can produce an unknowable harvest, so can any young person eventually, with love and care, give unto the world extreme beauty.
In simple ways, I know what a plant needs. And I can know what the soil is composed of, what the weather is and protect young seedlings from ravenous insects but can I be the same way with youth? What are the conditions that surround young people?
I am hardly the first to name this question. The Public Health philosophy around this is called Risk and Protective Factors and here is the City of New Orleans Health Dept’s (via the CDC) thoughts on what helps and what hurts a youth. But what is important to me about this question of conditions is that young people are the ones doing the work. As a gardener I tend strawberry plants and peas, but I do not physically grow the fruit. The plants are doing the miracles. I merely stand back in awe.
In the same way, we, as protectors of youth, must always remember that the miracles of life, beauty, wisdom that can come from all young people can ONLY come from young people. They are the only source of new human miracles and it is our role not take make them do anything, merely provide help and guidance.
This is hard for adults. We must trust that just as seeds naturally become plants so that young people will become beautiful humans, and be glad that we get to help out.