Possibilities and Hope

This is my second liveblog from the Generation WakingUp gathering in Seattle. At the close of the first day’s session, I had the opportunity to remember why I enjoy working with children and youth so much: possibilities and hope.

The day was filled with wonderful activities that were excited, focused, and energetic. Joined by facilitators from Power of Hope, the event brought in more than 40 young people and adult allies from throughout Seattle, across the Northwest, and a few other places. The facilitators, led quietly by Joshua Gorman, did a great job of leading the diverse group of participants and maintaining a space that was driven towards connection and interaction. I was impressed by the smooth facilitation, clearly the product of a well-versed team.

The space that was created was centered on social change and spirituality, the kind of versed balance brought through the informed perspective of very attuned people. Alas, it was informed by the Awakening the Dreamer program of the Pachamama Alliance. The good intention of Awakening the Dreamer, “an interactive transformational workshop that inspires participants to play a role in creating a new future: an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, and socially just human presence on this planet”, is echoed throughout the Generation WakingUp event so far, except with a more dynamic presentation. Its exciting to me. That it focuses on creating new stories and storytelling only takes it all to another level.

The entire evening ended with a large group reflection on the attributes of young people today. Remember that part of the excitement here for me is that I get to participate, rather than facilitate. After a few people spoke, I shared an observation I heard last month in Miami, which is that youth today are a generation of hope. Raised with “hope” as a slogan during the last presidential campaign, young people today have internalized the breadth of the internet and the demands of service learning they were exposed to in high school. Rather than being faced with the dichotomous headspinning of the media in the 1990s as they alternately labeled youth slackers and superpredetators: with we weren’t ambitious enough, or too ambitious!

Alas, I raised the word “hope” as an attribute of young people today, and quickly that words resonated through the room. I then connected it to the word “possibilities”, which together represent my broadest expectation and design for youth today: That they maintain hope in and for the radical possibilities ahead of us.

I know there’s more ahead, and luckily, I know the generation present has the where with all to take us to that space.

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