Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Small Kids, Big Minds

Have you ever heard parents here in Malaysia "protecting" their kids from the evil of politics? Telling them it's not their time yet until they leave university at the age of 23? My mum is the complete opposite of that as from a very young age, she has lamented on us the importance of understanding what moves, molds and administrates your life. Of course religion is the fundamental basis but the type of leadership we have in the country in modern days determines what type of life you would lead.

I hate to compare our country with another but in a country of more diversity than us (yes, that's true), USA is not afraid to let their kids to have a say and speak it out loud from their point of view. They are taught to compare and contrast the different sides of the coins (including the sides). From pre-schoolers to college graduates, mock elections are done to encourage thinking and allow them to exercise their future right as a citizen. That's a country of 300 million people with 7 main recognised ethnic groups (caucasians, african american, asian, native american/alaskan, native american/pacific, multiracial & hispanic).

Surely we can do better, don't we Malaysians always aim for that anyway? (The more records we break, the better what?). If so, political consciousness and awareness should be instilled from an early age so that we would all feel it's our responsibility even if it appears to be an obligation to conform to pop culture. We should not brainwash our kids but allow them to decide because if they can choose whoever they like in AF without you telling them to, it shows the power of media and the child's ability to comprehend. Teach our kids about the importance of voting and when it's election time, induct them into the craze too. Not by asking them to wear a t-shirt saying "I'm HIS son/daughter" but to share their opinions and takes on each candidate. I'm sure we can learn more than we expect from them :)

While we're talking about this, I want to share a performance I've came across while browsing CNN last week. It's by a bunch of Seventh Graders (lebih kurang Form 1) from Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta. Ron Clark has worked with disadvantaged children in the USA and if I remember correctly, he was the inspiration for the movie "The Triumph" starring Matthew Perry. In this performance, the group of around 30 kids rapped about the pros and cons of both of the main presidential candidates for the USA 2008 polls to the sounds of T.I's "Whatever You Like" (owwwhh.. enche T.I Handsome). Reckon we can achieve this anytime soon? C'mon, we sent a man to the space already, what?

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