The other day my seven-year-old was reading on my iPhone. He was using comprehension-promoting software. For every “book” he read there were a series of comprehension questions to answer.
Points were earned for correct answers. He could use those points to buy things in a digital store. The things he bought were meant to help him create a digital world within the software. It was like a game. He was having fun. I’m old.
This is a kid who loves to read. He has actual, physical books strewn about his bedroom, and wherever he travels throughout our house books follow like the stardust dust trail from a comet.
He also enjoys digital devices. He likes this reading software and he likes games. All of my kids do. Thankfully, they all also seem to like actual, physical books too (my personal favorite – a bias I’m working on).
That day, I told him there were no iPhones when I was a kid.
“Really?” He asked.
“Really.” I said.
I told him that my friends and I could have imagined what iPhones would be like, but that they didn’t exist.
I told him that they pretended to have something like iPhones on TV shows about the future, but just not in “real life.”
His face turned incredibly thoughtful, he let out what seems to be an unstoppable, “Ohhh,” and then he matter-of-factly stated, “So this is the future.”
“It sure is, Bud.”
He went on to explain that if it’s true, anything he and his friends might imagine can become a reality one day too, in tomorrow’s future, or the future that will be here on the day after tomorrow, or the one that will happen any number of years from now.
“It sure can, Bud.”
When do we begin to restrict ourselves?
When do we start to deny the incredible potential of our capacity to unfold the individual and collective imaginations of ourselves and our contemporaries into the fabric of reality?
At what point do we decide that not everything is possible?
How old are we when time, cost, and ability begin to seem prohibitive?
At what age do the laws of physics begin stifling our desire to fly?
We must resist.
One of the greatest strengths of kids is that they believe anything is possible, unless and until we redefine their innate gift-of-a-paradigm into one in which it isn’t.
Here’s to today, and to every future today we are blessed to experience with the incredible children we serve.
Here’s to their childish conceptions of a nonsensical and brilliant series of tomorrows and future todays.
Here’s to the hope that each of their wildly outlandish dreams comes true.
Here’s to the faith that it can, and that it will.
Here’s to the possibility that we will be with them, watching, hoping, supporting, inspired and proven wrong, and witnessing, with blissful awe, the unfolding of what might otherwise have been unimaginable positive progress.
Yes, here’s to the possibility.
Live. Love. Listen. Learn. Lead. Thanks.