U of M Board of Regents meeting 1889
This week I sat in a room with 20 other people helping to create the 25 year vision and pathway for sustaining Minnesota's waters. The meeting included a presentation from the State's Demographers office on the trends for Minnesota's population. I was the youngest person in the room-- a women in the late July of life and mom of three. I ached, ached for a young voice in the room.
48 hours earlier (to the minute) I had been in a sea of 4, 5, and 6 year olds- confined to a gym and allowed to run wild. Screaming, chasing, hugging, playing. It was called "recess"- which I understand is the 4th important educational "R." Standing in that gym amidst loud, rowdy, and giddy children- my eyes filled with tears of wonder and joy.
I've seen the movie Children of Men a few times. It's set one generation in the future when women can't have children and the youngest person on earth is 18 year, 8 month, and 16 days old. For what every reason I hadn't really resonated with the movie's ache- the human longing and hunger for the rollicking presence of children.
By the end of that 5 hour meeting I had, in all honesty, lost the yearning for young voices and engaged my ego with those around me. The truth is, there are few places on earth with the social and resource capital to really plan for a sustainable future 25 years down the road with the hope those dreams can be realized. And frankly- as the youngest person in the room- I know that the earnest investment of goodwill at that meeting is not for our own future but for those who come behind us.