Raising Good Citizens

Today my youngest daughter was the recipient of an award from our local Rotary Club. The honor, for outstanding leadership and citizenship, was given to one fifth grade and one eighth grade student from each school in the district-22 in all.

Needless to say, we were thrilled that she was selected by her school’s administration for such an acknowledgement. We were also completely surprised. We think Peyton is a pretty cool kid but we had no idea the reach of her attributes and that the teachers and staff felt the same.

As the four Rotarians took turns acknowledging each child by reading what their respective teachers had submitted as to why they were selected, it was pretty hard to ignore the fact that we, as adults, were in the company of children who will be among the leaders of their generation. Each recipient possessed qualities of kindness, giving, selflessness and service. Each child was poised, engaging and sincerely appreciative of the moment. In this time, it gave me pause as it was somehow a reassurance that in spite of the crazy time we find ourselves in, politically, culturally and socially, there are young humans out there that are the definition of good citizens. At the risk of sounding dramatic, this award ceremony, in a tiny way, provided a sense of hope for me that perhaps my childrens’ future World will not look like a sess pool of narcissism and classlessness but instead can and will be filled with good humanitarians who care. That is my hope anyway.

All in all, human beings are good. We must remember this and as we raise our young, it is imperative that we, as a village, reward good deeds so we can fuel them and teach them that their effort is not in vain and that it is possible, it is always possible to create change.

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