"Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity."
-Horace Mann, educational reformer (1796-1859)
My son turned ten years old about two weeks ago. He's always been a very interesting fellow, definitely a thinker. And for most of his childhood he has said that when he grows up he wants to design video games for a living. (Big surprise, eh? It's the new fireman/racecar driver for young boys.)
But out of the blue, the other day, he said, "You know, Mom, I've been thinking. If I make video games, do you really think that helps the world?"
I had been involved in some task, cooking perhaps, half-listening until I understood what he was asking. I stopped what I was doing and turned to him. "Honestly, honey? No, I don't."
He sighed. "Me neither."
"It might be a fun job, but I doubt it would make the world a better place. You couldn't, say, solve world hunger with a game, could you?"
"No." He smiled at the thought.
"But maybe you could make a whole lot of money doing that, and then use the money to do good things for the world..."
"Yeah, I could. But I'm thinking I might do something else, instead. Like for the planet."
I love watching the seed of moral obligation sprout and grow. It's like seeing the earth being made all over again. I'm not so jaded as many of the over-forty crowd. Today's kids don't make me shake my head and predict dire things. Today's kids give me hope for the future.