“Without courage we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.” —Maya Angelou My little man has issue with Greta Thunberg—she’s just a teenager, so how could she possibly know what’s up? His thought: Information about the world at large should come from adults, like our president. Well, sure little man, but most adults are preoccupied, scraping by, paying student loans, making sure their kids are doing all the things that kids are supposed to do. Preoccupied with expectations—the “I should be’s” and “If only’s.” I won’t discuss the preoccupations of our current president, but we all know he’s busy with stuff and things. Truth is, the creative action and passion of a kid is likely to make a sizable dent in solving the hard stuff. Can we take the time to listen? Can we take the time to not load them down with our own BS? Can we help them to resist the pull of likes, comparison, and other dopamine hits that potentially crush their courage? I remember being five or six when I realized my dad couldn’t read. He came in to “read” a story to me before bed and used a whole lotta words that weren’t on the page. He stumbled along in this fashion for a few pages and then I stopped him, pleased to show off that I knew a big word that seemed super smart. I pointed and loudly proclaimed “enigma”...and then continued to read on, because seriously, he was getting it all wrong. He anxiously shifted his position. I knew he was proud that I was reading so beautifully (or at least, I was proud of me!), but I think a little embarrassed too because he got found out by his best girl. We finished the story and he made his way to the light switch. Before he left me, I asked, “Daddy, would you like me to teach you to read?” He could have ignored me and my tears (I had begun to cry—I didn’t want to hurt his feelings). Instead, he said yes and so began our nightly reading lessons. They didn’t last long, maybe a couple weeks, tops, but there was something inside of me that needed to try. And to his credit, he let me. This willingness to try; to not give in to the should be’s and the if only’s—this is what I want for my kids. These young people are so damn capable. Just some random thoughts as I walked by my favorite @studio_morales painting last night.