• Wayne Perkins

Kids Climate Change Protest

So a few school kids are going to take the day off school and walk the streets to protest the lack of action on climate change by adults and isn’t that just “kick you in the nuts” fantastic?

Because if there is one thing I really like, it’s to have a bunch of kids pontificating about how socially aware and enlightened their generation is, how we are ruining the planet for them, and how they, with their vast sixteen years of existence (supported by adults I might add), have found the answers to problems that are vexing some of today’s greatest minds.

It's easy of course, when you have a philosophy that goes no deeper than page one on Google and genuine life experience so small that it could be inscribed on the head of a pin with a blunt brick, to think you have a few answers.

A very clever man once said to me “Wayne. In life there are the things you know you know, the things you know you don’t know and the things you don’t know you don’t know”. I have found that those words have served me well when I have remembered to heed their advice and as I grow older I become more aware that the number of things I don’t know are increasingly voluminous and the number of things I do know infinitesimally minute.

It’s a sobering thought to realise that you know very little about most things and virtually nothing at all about everything but it is the start of all clear rational logical thinking, about life and the world we live in.

Now I’m not being hard on these young people.

I like young people and support their right to protest about climate change, not because I think for one second it will make a single iota of difference to our planet but because I think it could be very beneficial for “some” of the young people protesting.

Because time, experience and reality are perhaps the greatest teachers. They take no prisoners, distort no facts and most importantly, uncompromisingly deliver the consequences of actions with no thought or regard for wishful thinking.

Some of the young people will protest to get a day off school. Some because they want to feel a bit special and holier than thou. Some because of peer pressure or to hang out with their mates and some (possibly a minority) will protest because they believe passionately in the cause and genuinely want to make a difference.

The protesters, led by Miss Righteous and Mister Know It All will proudly strut their stuff and after the inevitable clichés, posturing and verbal diarrhoea, the show will be over and time will reveal it achieved little of any significance.

With the exception of a few politicians pandering to them, eager to seem trendy, relevant and in-touch in the hope of getting a sound bite on the nightly news, most of us adults won’t rate their protest as anything much at all.

But maybe a few of the protestors will look back at how little was achieved with the dawning realisation that life is tough, lasting change is hard and that bumper sticker solutions seldom work in the real world.

Maybe the disappointment will fan the flames of passion and they will understand that real change starts with themselves, requires sacrifice and not the pretend sacrifice of taking a day off school and walking down a street for the benefit of the media.

Maybe some of those young protestors will take a lesson from history and look back at some of the greatest change-makers the world ever knew, Christ, Gandhi and Luther-King, and see how before they talked the talk, they first walked the walk.

Maybe they will look internally, examine their own lives and make changes if needed before they look outward and tell the rest of us how to live.

Good luck with your protest young people and I sincerely mean that.

Hopefully, it is the catalyst for change, whatever that is!

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