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The harsh realities of the world turned into positive affirmations and interpretations. Thank you for this deeply insightful and empowering article to save our future, Elizabeth! xx
I want a child who can change the world, a child who can believe, a child who is full of hope and energy and purpose.” – Elizabeth Mary Cummings
Sometimes when we hear the news we can be overwhelmed with what is wrong with the world and feel disempowered as to how to get involved and make a difference. The politics, the lies, the truths, the shocking behaviours as well as the natural and man-made disasters that blaze across our screens, sensationalising and demoralising us as viewers in equal parts. Imagine being a child therefore watching these headlines and seeing the world into which they were born, the born they will inherit at least if it survives? It is no surprise to learn then how mental health, and in particular, anxiety and depressions rates amongst our young people are soaring. Sure, there are some of these rates that can be attributed to more transparency in sharing about mental health and a reduction in shame and stigma associated with mental health matters, but seriously, it’s no wonder children are feeling the pressure and strain of bad news.
So when it came to writing about climate change in my latest book, Rain Shaker, I was adamant it had to be a good news story. How so? you might wonder – look what we’ve done to the planet! This is how – I did what I love to do and turned to reflect on what a child might think, a child who sees the reality of climate change by living through a drought and then put this child in a position of commentary. So you wanted a depressed kid? I hear you say – No! I want a child who can change the world, a child who can believe, a child who is full of hope and energy and purpose. That child is Erin, and she demands we listen! Erin stands for all this and more. She stands for strength I wish my children to have in the face of adversity. She stands for the magic I wish for every child to believe in. And she stands most of all, for the right of each and every child to a positive future, a future built on the rock of resilience, the seeds of knowledge, the shoots of possibility and the living, breathing movement for change.
So, when I am asked how can kids help with climate change I say, how can they not? Furthermore, I see the question how can we, how can I as an adult in this world help children to be educated about climate change, to learn about our planet’s precious resources, to value these and to feel empowered to make a commitment to protect and defend their world, to rebuke inaction, to intimate new and innovative ways of improving how we live on earth so that their lives and the lives of others can be enriched, made healthier, safer and more brilliant by new ideas of how we can exist.
My hope for Rain Shaker is that in its small way it can be a story that will tell of these concepts, it will narrate an idea of optimism, of ‘can do’ and ‘will act’ attitudes to life’s adversities. Through the belief and joy of my protagonist Erin, I yearn for my readers to find their own magical interpretation of the world around them and how they might influence it for the good.
Article by Elizabeth Mary Cummings.
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Elizabeth Mary Cummings: https://elizabethmarycummings.com/
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