As we speak, there are 18,000 kids at the Air Canada Center along with such mega musical acts as Nelly Furtado, Classified, Kardinal and Joe Jonas. Is it a multi-artist rock festival? No, it’s We Day, a huge event organised to inspire and celebrate the youth movement for global change.
In between grooving to their favourite music, performed live, kids are going to learn about serious social and political issues. UN Human Rights High Commissioner Mary Robinson is one of the speakers and in her presentation, she will challenge today’s youth to stand
up against global injustice and take action against famine in the Horn
of Africa. Al Gore will speak to them about the environment and the former president of Ireland will talk about the importance of political activism.
When I read about this event in today’s Globe and Mail, I was immediately riveted. I try to expose my kids to a lot – I feel that’s part of my job. We run around playing sports, learning music, learning how to practice our religion. This attempt to produce well-rounded, fulfilled human beings is arduous, complex. Unfortunately, there is no formula for raising happy, independent people.
But, I don’t think it’s enough to learn to play the piano and how to kick a soccer ball. How do they learn to give back if we don’t teach them? We talk to them about charity and volunteerism, but not a lot. We say we show by example, but how?
I tell myself, “They’re young. Let them enjoy before it all gets so heavy. They’re too little to understand.” Right now, shouldn’t it all be about princesses, soccer tournaments and movie nights? I think it’s time. We Day inspired me to challenge my views on this approach. It’s not too early to teach them about their role as a world citizen and what they can do – however small – to encourage and implement change. It’s my goal to at least sit down with my older kids and talk about We Day with them and see what ideas they have. First, the conversation and then we’ll see what happens. The Dialogue begins today.