Which kids are “our kids”?
It’s fine to start with your own or those closest to you. If those kids aren’t your kids, it’s hard to see how any others possibly can be.
So ask yourself: what will it take for those kids closest to me to thrive – to have the kind of future I hope they’ll have?
They’ll need to love and be loved, to stay safe, to have enough to eat and drink, to have chances to learn and make mistakes. They’ll need friends, peers, juniors, seniors, neighbours, teachers, colleagues, leaders, followers, allies and possibly opponents. They’ll need people to build infrastructure and people to operate and maintain it. They’ll need medical care. They’ll need places to go and things to do and see. They’ll need clean air and water and plants and animals and natural beauty. They’ll need practical skills and art and science and wisdom and faith.
Our kids need all of these and many more to live well and, eventually, to die well too. So starting from the future-that-is-becoming-the-present – that is, starting from right now, and forever after – our kids will need other people just to live, let alone to thrive.
And not just any people – our kids need as many of the right sort of people as possible – people who can flourish, and help those around them to flourish too.
So of course, we start with the kids closest to us – of course we do. But even in the unlikely event that you only cared about yourself and those closest to you, when we’re talking about education for the future and what our kids need, we can be clear that “our kids” can’t just mean your kids.
Our kids need other kids, and the adults that those kids will become.
Even the most narrowly self-interested definition of “our kids” has got to include other people’s children too.
Start with yours, and work outwards.