Jotting some quick notes to follow up on my ‘thoughtful scifi for kids’ post last week. One thing I didn’t mention in the power of accountability is our current example, Greta Thunberg. Ms. Thunberg demonstrates what happens when you arm young people with knowledge. They can be a powerful voice for positive change.
Is Thunberg ‘powerful and influential?‘ Of course she is, but why? Where some explain it academically, Greta’s power comes from something deeper, and more emotional. Smart enough to know that climate change is real, man-made, and fixable if enough people want to fix it. Intelligent enough to explain, in no uncertain terms, how she feels about the adults who could have made better choices but followed their craven impulses instead. In that way, Greta Thunberg embodies the collective disgust that all young people should have over the world they are inheriting.
So who cares? Everybody. People forget sometimes, what a powerful motivating force children have on adults. Everybody remembers their childhood, and the one adult who disappointed them, let them down. Nobody wants to be that adult. But the complicated world of adulthood makes you forget that truth, and creates mental loopholes to justify bad choices.
Kids have a way of cutting through all that noise, and reducing the problem to very simple choices. They can remind us, without a word, of who we once were, once thought we could be. For some people, those kids have a way of saying: “When you were young, you wanted to be someone who made the world a better place. You are failing the person you once were.”
We see examples of this all the time. You hear someone say “I got healthy for my kids,” or “I got sober for my kids.” We can harness this powerful motivator to make other changes, too. I admire what Greta Thunberg is doing, it makes me think of how ‘thoughtful scifi for kids’ can be a force for good in the world.
Let’s remember though, thoughtful scifi requires precision, and care. You can’t crank out life-altering stories in a first draft. That’s why Mesh is taking the time it’s taking. Twenty drafts … a full re-write. I want this story to hit the marks it needs to hit to help make the world a better place.
Sometimes I get frustrated, but I still keep going. Adults can and should be making the world a better place. After all: we have to live here, too.