Youth in Politics

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Nope, I just got something in my eye. … #Repost @michaelfranti (@get_repost) ・・・ When I got to Whale Rock Whale Rock festival the first person I met was a 9 year old girl who walked right up to me by herself and said, "Are you Michael Franti?" I said,"Yup, that's me, who are you"? "I'm Joselin and I play Ukulele and I know a lot of songs and I play some of yours". We sat under an old Oak tree and I asked her if she'd play me one and she said she knew 'Love Will Find A Way'. An excellent choice in these turbulent times. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ She pulled out her Ukulele and we started to sing it together. Her Uke playing was beautiful and her voice was confident. I was moved to hear her sing the words "This is a song for all kinds of people…the synagogue and the mosque and the steeple" and "Nobody's born hating another person, a mad world puts that poison in us… but if we can learn to hate another person, than we can learn to love a brother or sister another mother or mister". ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It gives meaning to me, when I hear my songs and the ideas in them becoming part of someone's life so much that they'd take the time, at such a young age, to learn one of them. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I asked her if she'd like to sing it with me on stage that night her response was priceless, "Stage? I LOVE STAGE!!!" So we did it as a duet that night in front of 3000 people! Let me know if you want me to post the video of us singing. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ @whalerockmusicfestival @castorocellars winery was an amazing sold out boutique festival event. I highly recommend it. Our next stop is Saturday: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 9/23 Solfest, Felton CA⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #loveoutloud #soulrocker #soulrockerfamily #yogi #yoga #music #musician #doitforthelove #StayHuman #soulshinebali #michaelfranti #michaelfrantiandspearheadt #musicianlife #band #guitar #concert #tickets #play #song #songwriter #musically #tour #love #Templeton #whalerockfest #transformation #happy photo: @lukebyronudsen

A post shared by Richard Hudak (@wholeheartedyoga) on

Considering the political fire of the Parkland survivors, I’m reminded of some words the late, great Elise Boulding wrote in her book Cultures of Peace: The Hidden Side of History (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2000), about youth-adult partnerships in the culture of peace.

What can we expect from the new movements in the twenty–first century? Can we envision a future in which there is a preteen and teenage member of every city council, every local citizen’s committee, every state legislature, and every national House of Parliament? Will communities of faith support teen participation in decision–making? Will school systems shift to a more community–based, apprenticeship–focused mode of education? Will families hold democratic councils? Will youth and age dance together, sing together, play together? If that is what we want, we must dare to imagine such a world, and then begin making choices about it (158).

We should not be surprised by what visionaries have prophesied. While childhood should remain a protected category (unlike the Middle Ages), the protection should not be paternalistic, but empowering. I tell my students that the shift from parents to peers as a reference group is a quite natural progression. We want them to have peers as a reference group, as they will be running the world someday, “when I’m in my dotage,” as I tell them. Given the way other adults are running this world, their future, into the ground it behooves us to partner with them. To fail to do so is to lack a quite adult concept of generativity. This is how we go on, through youth.


About Richard Hudak

I am Senior Adjunct Faculty in Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and I have been a practitioner of Anusara™ yoga. I have completed 200 hours of teacher training within its diaspora community, consistent with its philosophy and alignment principles.
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