It was the middle of June in Toronto. One of those rare beautiful days with a few fluffy clouds, a light breeze, and lots of sunny breaks. But not too hot. For those of you who have spent time in Southern Ontario, you know what I’m talking about.
Sherry and I were sitting outside on the lawn of the elementary school with families of all the Grade 6 students about to graduate, one of whom is my beautiful granddaughter Isabella. Izzy for short.
The ceremony started. Three grade 6 classes were graduating that day. The principal gave an opening address and introduced the valedictorian student from each of the three classes. Following the introduction, each of these three exemplary students gave a speech.
I was blown away by these 12 year old kids. They spoke eloquently with passion and sincerity about their schoolmates, teachers, faculty, and what lessons they had learned in their 7 or 8 years of education. Although academics were mentioned in their speeches, most surprising to me was that they talked mostly about what they cared about.
The values these kids have are what give me great hope for the future. The awareness they have for the world around them and the respect they have for each other and their natural environment gives me hope for the planet. The kindness and generosity they exude gives me hope for humanity. The curiosity and the willingness to risk taking on big challenges gives me hope for solutions to big problems.
And the sheer joy for life of these children means there is hope for the others that are coming behind them. The example they set will be followed by future leaders. We can all take a lesson from the children.
Our granddaughter graduated with honours that day and was the winner of the “Joie de Vivre” award, presented to the Grade 6 student who exhibits the most spirited joy for life and the people and creatures we share this wondrous planet with.
We are very proud of her and are confident that with these Grade 6ers taking over down the road, we are all in good hands.
The world is in a good place with these kids at the helm.