Just how brilliant do you allow your children to be? How much of a chance do you give them to learn things for themselves? And do you let them think for themselves?
Due to what we shall term ‘A Baby-Sitting Malfunction’ I ended up taking my 7 year old son to Toastmasters, my speakers club, on Wednesday evening. In lots of ways it didn’t seem like a good idea. For a start he would be up very late – I don’t usually get back till at least 11pm – and in addition to that he would have to sit quietly for the best part of 3 hours and listen to a variety of adults speak, and respond appropriately. He would also have to listen to me speak, and manage himself whilst I wasn’t sitting with him. Now my little boy is a very intelligent and lively young man and at the age of 7 is still capable of a full-on-screaming-abdabs tantrum on rare occasions, so taking him with me did have an element of risk attached. However, the babysitter had indeed malfunctioned, and I was speaking that night so I couldn’t exactly ‘bunk off’. As it was the summer holidays he could be excused the late night … so off we went.
In the car on the way there I told him how the evening would go, and he was really excited about it. When we got there I introduced him to some of my friends and then we went and sat right at the front. The president of the club was lovely. She included his glove puppet ‘squeak mouse’ when she mentioned the guests that we had in the audience, which he loved, then the speeches began. Would you believe it? My little roof-raiser sat quietly through the evening, clapped at appropriate occasions, and conversed politely with people during the break. When it was time to go home he told me he had had the ‘best time in his life ever!’ ‘Ever?’ I asked. ‘Well so far!’ he said 🙂
The club doesn’t allow you to join or speak till you’re 16, which is understandable given the fact that it’s a place for professionals to keep their speaking skills sharp, but it set me wondering. There are so many things our kids could do if we just gave them half the chance. I’ve talked about this before (Fearless as a Child). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about ‘hot-housing’ – forcing your kids into academic brilliance when they’re not up for it. But when you see your child has a natural ability for something, and most of all they enjoy it, how many of us support them to follow that thing through, even if it’s something they’re theoretically too young for? You know at the age of three and a half my son had an avid interest in dinosaurs. And I’m not talking ‘Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs’, I mean the real McCoy. We used to sit there reading from a book so heavy that he couldn’t even rest it on his little legs. The typeface was of course tiny, but the pictures were wonderful. He’d leaf through till one caught his eye, and then say ‘Mummy tell me about that one!’ and I’d read and explain the accompanying text. Then when he went to school he was suddenly plunged into a world of ‘Tom is here. Jill is here. Where is the dog?’ It switched him off for a long time, though thankfully he has had a brilliant teacher this last academic year who has turned him on to learning again. If your child picked up an academic book clearly written for adults, and asked you about the contents, would you read it to them? Not all parents would you know.
I think that as a culture we sometimes stunt our kids’ growth without even realising it. We don’t always give them the chance to find out for themselves. A dear friend once reprimanded me for giving her young son grapes still on the stem. ‘If you give it to him like that, he’s going to eat the stem too!’ she said. Well, maybe the first time, but he won’t do it again will he? How is he ever going to learn to pick the grapes off himself if you keep doing it for him? It’s a balance and not always an easy one to achieve. Of course you don’t let your children find out for themselves that walking into the road without looking could get you into trouble, part of a parent’s job is to keep their children safe. Yet there are so many things that they can work out for themselves thereby learning about the situation in hand, AND learning vital skills in terms of thinking and analysis.
Many years ago now I used to head up a Jewish Sunday school, and on one occasion the children and teachers were preparing for a meal to which all the parents would be invited. We were cutting a salad and I asked my teaching assistant to cut the tomatoes. I watched, astonished, as she pretty much annihilated them. She was doing her best. She explained to me that this was the first time she had ever cut a tomato! Wow! I was shocked. How is it possible for a person to reach a good 20 years of age and never learn to cut fruit and vegetables with a sharp knife?
Do you let your children use sharp knives? I do. How else will they learn? I allow my two and three year old to hold the knife with me so that they get used to the various motions of cutting. If it’s something easy, say my three year old has a small amount of cheese on her plate and she wants it in even smaller pieces I will allow her to use a sharp knife independently while I watch. And I let my seven year old son use a knife independently and unsupervised, because he has been using one so long that he knows how. If there’s something he isn’t confident about cutting he will ask for help. The other day he peeled a kiwi and cut it into pieces. That’s my boy! I don’t have to hide knives away from them because they know that knives can be dangerous if misused, so they treat them with respect. I explained to my kids that the most useful things are often also the most dangerous. Things like knives or fire, or cars or electricity. I explained that you shouldn’t be afraid of them, just learn how to use them safely and effectively.
Let’s empower our kids. Instead of cosseting them from life, leaving some of them ignorant and incapable and others so plain frustrated and angry that they have to launch a full scale rebellion just to gain themselves the right to live their own lives, let’s support them in following their capabilities and their dreams. I’ll tell you what, as a life coach and hypnotherapist I wouldn’t be dealing with half the cases I end up dealing with if people had given their kids a chance to start with. We all make mistakes, every one of us, so let’s not dwell on the past, but focus on the now and on the future. Ask yourself the question ‘How can I empower my child today to be the best that he or she can be?’
I was so proud of my son the other night. Several members of the club came up to him and congratulated him on doing so well, and he accepted the compliments most graciously. The experience may even have ignited in him a lifelong passion for the spoken word, and all because circumstance gave him a chance to experience being amongst people who have just that passion.
This week, empower yourself, others and most of all the children whose lives you are blessed to touch!
I am soooo excited!!!! My good friend has just gone into labour 🙂 This will be a friend’s birth with a difference though, because she’s asked me to be there … crumbs! I’ve never been at anyone else’s birth except my own 3 children … and myself of course, though I can’t remember very much about that … childcare has been suitably rearranged, clients put on hold and I’ve made sure to have a good healthy lunch – anyone would think I was preparing to give birth myself! Now I’m sitting here ‘on call’, and whilst waiting what else would I be doing but blathering away at the keyboard – I guess I’m a true blogger at heart.
Now anyone who knows me well will know that I could go on forever about my beliefs regarding the intricate details of pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding etc etc but never fear, I will hold off, for the sake of those who have a problem with anything blood or bodily fluid related, and of course for any gentlemen reading this, a percentage of whom would scurry quickly in a different direction or faint gallantly at the thought – you’re safe! You may read on indignantly and then put me right in the comments section below with your incredible stories of the fastest drive of your life to the hospital delivery room, or how you videoed the whole thing from up close right until the moment you got kicked in the face, ok? (I know, I know, I’ve set myself up for it now )
Now where was I … ah yes, birth. You know, in the personal development field we tend to make a big deal out of the idea that each of us needs to be in charge of our lives. Oft repeated phrases come to mind such as- ‘If you don’t make a plan for your life, someone else will’ or of course ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’. As a life coach I routinely encourage my clients (and anyone else who will listen) to live with forethought and act with deliberation. Somewhat like James Bond to take calculated risks as opposed to irrational ones. To ‘begin with the end in mind’. To do yearly planning and weekly planning, and to take time to decide on three things you want to achieve each morning. And I strive to do each of these things myself. So it may come as a surprise when I wholeheartedly suggest there are occasions when you might be best off chucking your planning in the nearest river and going with the flow. Giving birth can be one of them. A wise woman friend of mine, Chamutal – and I’m giving her a shout-out here because I think she’s brilliant – see below – has often said to me that “you give birth how you live life”. I think that is true on many levels. I think that in both it is important to plan for what you want, to point yourself in the right direction for getting what you want, and to make sure you set up your environment so that what you want is possible and can get to you. After that there comes a point where you just have to let go.
Control freaks will be tearing their hair out at the thought … ‘What?’ you might say ‘You mean I can’t control every little detail all the way to the end?’ Nope. You see life is rather like giving birth, too. You can plan till the cows come home but at the end of the day you can’t control the weather, or other people, or chance itself. You can maybe guide life, funnel or magnetise it along a certain route, to a certain degree, but at the end of the day the world around you is going to do its thing, and blow you off course on occasion. At that point you could waste your energy yelling at the wind or you could just get back on course. Sometimes you do your best, and you still can’t go in the direction you think you need to. Sometimes the only thing left in your control is your decision as to how you are going to react and what meaning you are going to give events.
It all sounds a bit ominous, doesn’t it. So let me tell you a little secret … sometimes letting go of what you think needs to happen is the one key that unlocks progress again. For example if you want to get into a certain training course and you fail to get in every time you apply, the point at which you eventually let go and say ‘you know what I’ll do that other course instead’ might be the defining moment of your life. Maybe you wanted to be a teacher, and you ended up being a plumber … you could find that you’re a jolly good plumber, get amazing job satisfaction, very little homework, and will almost certainly be richer too!
Sometimes you might not even have a plan B. Sometimes you just need to let go and forget about the thing entirely. Not even wait for it. Sometimes, dare I say it, I think you need to give up. Give up trying to direct the course of events at all, and just surrender to chance or a force bigger than yourself. Let’s be clear, I’m not advocating this as a general attitude to life. I mean once you’ve done all you can and can go no further under your own steam, once you’ve really, deeply and completely exhausted all your options, I think in those cases it is not only ok to give up, I would say it is required. And then something incredible happens. It’s as though existence steps in saying ‘Phew! She finally got out of the way! Now let’s give her what she really needed all along.’ And you suddenly find that things start working again. Like a creaky old cartwheel that has finally got some grease, life starts to move forward again, and you get everything you ever needed, almost effortlessly.
Without quite getting on my soapbox, birth-wise, I can tell you that I think a lot of the work of Michel Odent, a well known voice in the natural childbirth movement. I heard him speak once, well before I gave birth to any of my children, and remember him saying something to the effect that childbirth is something the animal body does pretty much by itself if you give it half a chance. His suggestion was to surrender to the animal side of things, and let your body do what it needs to do, and whatever it needs to do, without letting your mind get in the way.
I think life is the same – sometimes you just have to surrender and let things happen. Sometimes you have to get out of your own way. When you let go, a beautiful healthy baby pops out!
So this week, here’s to surrender and letting go –
Now I’m off to go give birth with my friend – wish us luck!
Update: … and we have a lovely baby boy, Thank Gd! My inspirational friend made light work of the whole thing. It was a privilege to be by her side, and I am profoundly grateful for the experience.
Quick event plug: www.dashofsparkle.com/cocktails_and_consciousness.html
If you are considering joining us for our inspirational ‘girls night out’ event, Cocktails and Consciousness on Thursday evening 9th February- there’s no time like the present! Please follow the link above for more information and to book. Tickets are £15 each, and include one cocktail. If you let me know you have booked as a result of reading this blog, you can claim your complementary life coaching session with me too – 30 mins by phone or skype.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Odent – about Michel Odent
Chamutal Isaacs – is a seasoned doula, teaches natural fertility awareness, natural gender selection and provides coaching sessions on all things fertility, birth and breastfeeding related. She is a well-spring of knowledge in my very personal opinion and you can reach her on 0044 (0)7903 268 551 or at email@example.com .
Well, it’s technically still Wednesday as I write…
What a day it’s been … a topsy-turvy day … My childminder had to cancel and the friend I usually swop childcare with had to cancel, meaning my little girls were home and my son’s school was on strike meaning that he was home. I had two appointments to keep today which could have been a problem, only one of them cancelled due to the client having a cold and the other was a phone appointment, who just wasn’t there when I called! So by many accounts today was a bit of a non-event … except we really enjoyed it!
We had a nice relaxed morning. I got my son onto Skype so he can now call family overseas … then we spent far too much time Skyping each other from upstairs to downstairs. After that we got the guitars out. Before you picture a family band all playing beautifully in harmony I should probably tell you that my daughter’s ‘guitar’ is a five quid job that can’t be tuned or the strings snap, and my son’s guitar is a hand-me-down from a family member who got it from somebody else who probably didn’t want it because the strings are so high off the fret board you could slide a dinner plate under them! My guitar was the cheapest thing Argos had at the time, but unlike the other two it works. So she swung hers round her head, he picked open strings and I played the chords to The House of the Rising Sun which is pretty much the only thing I remember from all those years ago… well that and the baseline to Stand By Me. Noisy, tuneless fun was had! Then we did a lot of clearing up family stylie, watched children’s TV till our eyes went square and after dinner, made menorahs – candle holders used to celebrate the festival of Hanukah – out of clay. Finally the kids spent a good three quarters of an hour watching cute baby animals on YouTube with Daddy and running round in circles dancing to their favourite theme tunes. All in all it has been a lovely day.
My point? Well to start with I was a little peeved that my working day was effectively cancelled … but as the day really started to fall apart, I decided to just go with it … it wasn’t like I had much choice in the matter, so why not just take a break? I think life does that quite a bit, you know, produces the unexpected. So firstly there’s that element of ‘You’ll get what you like if you like what you get’ but I think it goes deeper than that. I think it’s part of the human condition – or perhaps part of the human ailment – that we tend to spend a lot of time wishing we were somewhere else, spending time with someone else and doing something else. Young people wish to be older and old people wish to be younger. Singles wish to be married, but once they get married they miss their single days. Stay at home mums miss their working life, but once they get back to work they often hanker after the freedom of the days spent at home and the time spent with their kids. When your kids are young you wish they’d grow out of nappies and get to the point where they can take themselves to school, yet once they do, you miss the cute days! Working dads can often be heard grumbling that they are out all day slaving away at a hot desk, instead of chilling out with the kids at home, but ask them to baby sit … We spend three quarters of the year wishing we were away on holiday. You lie down in bed and think about the day to come. But once you wake up and turf yourself out of the house and into the winter cold you soon wish you were back in bed … and on and on and on. You can see why it’s an ailment. Why can’t we just be where we are? With the people who are actually there, at the period in time that we’re actually at, doing what we’re actually doing… would that be too much to ask for? Can you imagine getting to the end of your time on this earth, looking back over your life and discovering that for most of the time you were here, you were so busy wishing for something else that you completely missed the joy of the moment? What a waste of a life that would be.
I think there is something beautiful in most if not all situations. There’s always something to learn, there’s always some growing to be done, and there’s often a lot of fun to be had if we can only open our eyes to it! I think life was meant to be lived in the now – after all NOW is the only time that exists, that is ever ‘live’. The past is gone, it’s just a memory, and is only as accurate as the mind or the medium that records it. The future is just a sea of random points that coalesce into the things we expect to see when we turn our heads that way. When we turn aside, those forms instantly collapse back into pure potential again … the future is just a dream. The other guy’s occupation belongs to him, and is for him to focus on right now. Summer break will come when it gets here and we can enjoy it then. The only time is NOW folks, the time is NOW. Sure we can spend time learning from the past and celebrating the good things that happened there. Sure we can look towards the future and plan. But if we’re going to put down roots and live somewhere, let’s do it in the NOW – and reap all the benefits of being present-minded. When you predominantly focus on where you’re actually at a wonderful thing happens. All of a sudden you feel light as air, because you’re unencumbered by baggage from the past or concern about the future. With all that extra energy you can make every second of now count, one by one, as you live life to the full and get the most out of every single moment. Then when each of us gets to the end of our lives we can take a final glance backward and know that we did a sterling job of the whole thing, to the very best of our ability, and the painting that was our life was a masterpiece. I like doing things properly, don’t you?
I had a very ‘now’ day today, and I liked it, so I’ve decided to have a ‘now’ week … care to join in? This week be where you’re at, wherever you’re at. Let’s live it up, guys and gals, and have a great week!
Ps: Book of the week: ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle … great book, read it when you can!
Young kids are sooooooooooooooo exhausting. They are full time, 24/7, round the clock, always on and you as the parent (or your chosen surrogate!) have to be there to meet their needs whatever the weather, whenever.
I am absolutely out for the count today, you know why? Yesterday my lovely almost seven year old saw some advert on the TV for a programme attempting to verify entities such as werewolves, demons and some other scary thing, I forget what. Now he has this habit of watching or listening to things that scare him (E.g. Roald Dahl’s ‘Witches’) and then afterwards getting really scared for ages. He’s really drawn to all this stuff, then afterwards he pays. He asked me to record the show for him so he could see it. Of course I refused, because it was clearly inappropriate for his age and besides I knew what would happen afterwards. He spent some time trying to win me over and get me to change my mind but I wasn’t budging. He’s a bright boy, so I explained to him that you get more of what you think about in life.
“Does that mean that if I think about werewolves I’ll get werewolves?” he said.
“Well no of course not, werewolves don’t exist” I answered “but if you spend a lot of time thinking about werewolves then you might end up hearing more stories about werewolves or getting more scared of werewolves. You like to watch a lot of kids programs involving fighting and anger ((there are far too many in my opinion, all the kids in his class watch them and so does he … whatever’s the current trend – Bakugan, Yugioh, Ben 10 and on and on, all targeted at his age group)) so do your friends and you end up with a lot of fighting in school, don’t you? Imagine if you chose more things to watch that were funny or interesting …What are some nice things you could think about? You know you can never really make scary thoughts go away, what you have to do is fill your head with nice thoughts instead so that there’s no room for the scary ones anymore.” I made my point and not that long afterwards it was bed time.
Anyway having got to sleep maybe 11.30 myself, 3.34am I am nudged awake and this little somewhat hoarse voice says: “Mummy I’m really thirsty.” “So go downstairs and get a drink” I tell him, and fall asleep again. A few minutes later- “Mummy I’m so thirsty I can’t sleep”. Basically he is too scared to go downstairs himself, because he can’t stop thinking about the advert with the werewolves and demons and all the rest of it. I groggily drag myself out of bed and accompany him to get a drink. After he has his drink he lies there quietly and starts to fall asleep. Then all of a sudden his breathing changes, and I know where he’s going.
“It’s ok,” I tell him “I’m here.”
“Mummy” he says in a small voice “What are some nice things to think about?”
“Who loves you?” I ask him.
“I don’t know …” he says.
“Who loves you enough to get up at 3.30 in the morning and help you get a drink?” I prod.
“You do” he smiles and his voice starts to relax a bit.
“Who else loves you? And who else?” One by one he names all the people in the family, first immediate, then wider. As he does, his body loses its tension and he starts to sound sleepy again.
“There are so many people” he says in wonder.
“Yes there are” I answer “how does it feel to be loved by so many people?” He smiles again, turns over and falls asleep.
It takes me a lot longer, and I don’t fall back into a deep sleep again before I have to get up at 6. Hence my cave woman like demeanour today!
I can’t help thinking though, what a lucky boy he is to learn the skills it takes to redirect your mind before he even reaches seven! Nobody taught me that till I was an adult. What applies to a child equally applies to all of us. You get more of what you think about. Actually, you get more of what you FEEL about. Anything you put emotion into, positive or negative will keep coming back to you. Take a little look through your life and you’ll see it’s true. Look at the types of people you draw in, and the types of situations you find yourself in. Look at the recurrent thoughts that pop into your head. Do you see any patterns? If there are elements of your experience that you’re not too happy about, you can change them. Don’t bother fighting them and pushing them away – that just brings them back. Instead re-direct your focus. Think about what you want. Think about who loves you and who and what you’re passionate about. Bring good things into your life. We are ALL powerful enough to do that for ourselves. If my almost seven year old can do it, then I can do it and so can you.
Wishing you a powerful force of attraction for all things positive this week,
What on earth is going on with our children? More to the point, what on earth has happened to our society that allows 14 years olds to roam the streets, smashing shop windows and stealing electronic equipment? And the biggest question of all is: what are we going to do about it?
I don’t need to tell you what’s happening on our streets right now, night after night. Turn on any news channel and its all they’re talking about. To cut a long story short many of the youth of this country are committing theft, arson and general destruction on such a scale that the police are considering measures like water cannons and rubber bullets in order to control them. Some of these kids are barely out of nappies. I’m betting most of the vandals that have terrorised the streets of the UK for the last four nights don’t do their own washing or cook their own meals … so it’s not just the kids who are ‘ill’. It’s us. We are bringing up a nation of thugs. It’s time we did something about it.
What’s the answer? Well first of all the threat of water cannons and rubber bullets may have cleared London’s streets last night, but it hasn’t solved the root of the problem – the young perpetrators are mostly still at large, and they still hold a lawless attitude. A ‘Robust approach’ is not the only answer. There will be many who call for a ‘return to traditional values’, but I don’t think we can return to anything. There is only going forward. We need to identify the reasons, and make sure that the solution is something that is relevant to the young people of today. Also, saying that the young people are bored or see no future for themselves is not a deep enough description of what is happening. There are plenty other ways to deal with boredom than to go out looting.
I think we can start to understand what is happening by looking at these three related factors:
• The Media
• What is acceptable to us as a society
• The way that we as parents and educators are raising our children
Give your eyes a good rub and take a look at what is offered to us and our children for entertainment these days. The media is awash with violence, sex, and greed. As we speak my six year old son is sitting in front of the tv watching cartoons that depict young people fighting for their survival, and to ‘save the world’. Aggression and violence is always the answer in these cartoons. If there is any intelligence or problem solving involved it’s very much a ‘side serving’ rather than the main dish. Most of the computer games you can buy today, and which our young immerse themselves in, are similarly violent. Sex has become a currency for selling anything, and is portrayed as something that needs no boundaries, something that anyone can do for fun. Don’t we have one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the world? Are we alright with that?
And as for greed, isn’t it all about stuff, stuff, stuff these days? What you have defines who you are in our society. TV shows one ad after another for more and more toys, more and more ‘bling’ and during the actual programmes makes it clear that if you want to be in with these guys you have to have these things. You have to be made up, you’ve got to be dressed right, and in a sexually appealing fashion. Recently there was a fuss in the media about our music videos being too sexually explicit, and if we’re honest that’s not the only problem. The language is very explicit, and the actual messages portrayed by the music are often those of lawlessness, promiscuity and greed.
But before we blame the media for society’s ills we need to stop and take a look at society itself. Because all the media does is reflect back to us what we as a society are. The media is giving us what we ask for, because that is what pays. So the media is a very accurate measure of what is going on in society itself. If you take a look at our media channels you begin to realise that we as a society therefore allow greed, violence and aggression, promiscuity and bad language. These things have become the norm for us. Children will push the boundaries, it’s one of the things they do best, and look at the boundaries they’re pushing! Is it any wonder that so many of our young think these things are ok? After all these are the messages we are giving them , or at least allowing them to absorb. We need to take a long hard look at ourselves! As any parent will know, your children often force you to reassess the way you approach life, and our kids are currently doing this on a national scale. We need to wake up!
So we approach the third point. How are we raising our children? Well aside from giving them a raft of deeply twisted messages about what is right and normal in our world today, our actual methods of parenting and teaching need looking at. Most of today’s parents are so busy making a living that we’re not giving our kids the attention they need. I have 3 children of my own, I know this isn’t easy. Today’s life is fast, it’s not always simple, and we have to keep up to keep our families afloat. But this means we are too tired and stretched to actually raise our kids. So they’re raising themselves or being raised by the TV and their peers – and look where that has lead! Even when we do find time for our kids, we don’t seem to know what to do to manage them. We turn to the ways we were brought up, and let’s be fair, justice was often meted out fairly aggressively, even if it was just how we were spoken to. ‘Clear up your room or you don’t go out.’ ‘Do your homework or no TV.’. And so sometimes if we’re a little enlightened we’ll say to ourselves ‘I don’t want to be an aggressive parent, I want to be a nice one’, so what are we replacing aggression with? Permissiveness! Now everything is alright. Kids can do whatever they like if they just push hard enough. ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’ has somehow become ‘kids know best’. They don’t. They’re kids. They need us to bring them up, that’s what we’re for. If we as parents and teachers don’t take charge and teach them right from wrong, who is going to?
So now on to solutions. First, we need to heal our own attitudes and thus heal our media. The society we have created and continue to create is patently not working. When the children rise up and start the process of self destruction that has got to be a potent message for us that we’re doing something badly wrong. We need to reassess our basic societal values. How much stuff do we actually need? Is the over sexualisation of everything really acceptable to us? Is aggression really the answer to everything? Is permissiveness the answer? Is the way we habitually speak and the language that has come to be regarded as normal actually alright with us?
Come on and take a stand. None of these things are acceptable. You don’t have to be religious, or ‘a prude’ or ‘old fashioned’ to realise that the way we are living is NOT WORKING. We need to clean up our act, and demonstrate better values to our kids. We need higher ideals. We need better ways of dealing with adversity. Let’s bring in gratitude for what we have. Let’s bring in a focus on the beautiful things in life and on inner beauty. Let’s bring in working together to make things better. Let’s bring in assertiveness and an intelligent approach to replace aggressiveness or passiveness in our dealings with our world and in our parenting. Our rioting children are doing us a big favour. They are giving us a wake up call that we ignore at our peril. We need to change as a society and we need to do it now, for the sake of our future. We owe it to our kids.