Molly Harrington – What Am I Skating Towards? Today’s Youth

Molly Harrington is Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy and Research Division, British Columbia Ministry of Social Development.  She is also co-chair of the Advisory Council on Social Entrepreneurship. This is her response to the question, What are you skating towards in 2012?

Today's Youth

I feel like I’m skating towards total appreciation and enjoyment of today’s youth and the gifts they are bringing into the world.

I just love the music, the breath of fresh air of the occupy movement, the courage of the it gets better campaign, the me to we campaign of Craig and Marc Kielburger and so much more.   My favourite new group, the young Seattle indie folk band, Fleet Foxes, and their great new anthem – ‘Helplessness Blues’ says it all for me:

I was raised up believing I was somehow unique
Like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes, unique in each way you can see
And now after some thinking, I'd say I'd rather be
A functioning cog in some great machinery serving something beyond me…
We are so blessed to have this generation and its optimism and challenge to all of us to remember our ideals of belonging, sharing and simplicity.  And to think that these gifts are all from the first generation in many years that will have fewer job opportunities, more debt and more challenges than their parents.   What a lesson for us all.
I’m skating towards giving my energy as a policy maker and adult in 2012 to make the world as inclusive of youth and their energy as possible.  I believe the solutions for many of the social issues we all struggle with …aging, poverty, homelessness, joblessness, different abilities…. are going to be much more resilient and dynamic with youth at the table.  I’m looking forward to being on our great big ice rink and skating along with them.  Let’s have fun together and create something wonderful!

Note: I will release individual essays from the collection 2 to 3 times a week. Upcoming contributions by Patrick O'Neill, Shari Graydon, Donna Thomson and Mark Kingwell. You can access the accumulated essays here.

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