Neil Postman, who we talked about a little while back, opens The Disappearance of Childhood with a line destined for maxim. “Children are living messages we send to a time we will not see,” he writes.
Postman died in 2003. But this prophetic media theorist and cultural critic wouldn’t be surprised that a reality television star became president of the United States, or that we’d be a society influenced more by screens than the printed word, or that communication would be more digital than physical.
Love it or hate it, a generation had preordained this. They sent us this message. The present is simply a reflection of that, and we can’t really do anything about it. But we can send our own message to the future in how we raise our kids. We can return to first principles. We can teach them what’s important. We can model better behavior. We can show them the future we want for them through our example.
People spend a lot of time worrying about what kind of world their children and grandchildren will live in. But what steps are those people taking? Why not just work harder to raise resilient, intelligent, exceptional kids, who can thrive in whatever tomorrow brings us?
You want to have an impact? You want to make things better? You’re concerned about where things are going? Okay. The solution starts at home. It starts with you. It starts with us. It starts with the message we are sending through our kids about what’s important, about how a person should be, about what change looks like. And that can start today.