We live in a world where it is increasingly hard to be heard over the noise of our digitally connected lives. Kids are constantly bombarded by messages, and often the messages are not reinforcing the messages we share with our kids. Yet it’s our job to be the messages our kids hear, to share with our kids the stories we believe are important, and to give them hope through those stories.
There are so many amazing individuals throughout history and now doing amazing things, whether it’s going to Mars, or discovering a cure for cancer, 3d printing skin, building something magical, or breaking a world record.
All around us there are people, young and old beating the odds, dreaming of a better way, making a new path to a big discovery, or pushing themselves beyond what was possible before now. But in this 24/7 connected world, a world that gives most of the air time to reality tv stars, or misbehaving pro-athletes, it’s easy to see why our youth of today isn’t begin told the stories of the heroes, the dreamers, the inventors, and the voyagers who are changing the world. It’s easy to see why even as parents and teachers we are having a hard time keeping our kids attention with stories of great individuals or groups who we should be aspiring to be like, who we should be celebrating, and who we should be talking about.
I also believe with our busy lives, and the ease of searching any question in google, many of us forget that it’s up to us to share with our children stories of great heros, of the struggles people have endured, to speak of the accomplishments of men and women, and to continue to share with them our family stories, and our family values. To tell stories important to our faith and the message found within it. It is up to us, like every generation before us, to pass down stories to our children. Stories are what allow us to pass down wisdom, and values, to remember our ancestors, and learn from the past.
I get excited when I see a new movie, or book, or article highlighting a unsung hero, or sharing a story from our past that needs to be told and heard. A new movie has done just that- telling us a story that matters, that shares the struggles, and the hope of amazing women in a time that they had to fight for their opportunities. The movie is Hidden Figures.
So I thank Pharrel Williams, and the other executive producers, the amazing cast, and everyone involved with Hidden Figures- for creating a movie that needs to be made and seen and celebrated. For producing a movie that is both inspirational and aspirational, that can bring us together instead of a movie that polarizes us, or divides. For making a movie, I can celebrate taking my boys to and while they might not get why I’m so excited for it, they will be exposed to one more movie that celebrates our rich history of all different types of people accomplishing great things. Of a movie that celebrates using your brain, and your education, and working hard to solve new problems that can change the world.
Hidden Figures Movie
The incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson – brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big. The movie is currently playing in theaters nationwide.
Here is the trailer for the movie- it is so good- you should watch the trailer and go see the movie with your kids.
So whether you take your kids to see this movie, or another movie that celebrates the unsung hero, or showcases a great achievement in history or overcoming the odds, or if you read a book or article on a inventive scientist or musician, just keep talking up those doing good work, humanitarian work, and important work, and keep talking about those people- it will make a difference.
I just saw the movie Hidden Figures and I loved it. It was very well done. It set the stage to tell the story of the struggle African Americans had during segregation, the challenges many African Americans faced and the way segregation allowed them to be treated as 2nd class citizens. This is important history and we must continue to remember our history and have dialogue around it. While the movie showed us a snapshot of America in 1961 and the struggle many faced , the movie was hopeful.
The three main female characters all worked at NASA. They were intelligent, capable, and gifted women and the movie tells the story of their struggles, and challenges they faced as they became integral to the space program in the 60s despite the discrimination they faced being colored and women.
To me the movie had messages of hope, determination, benefit of an education, and being strong, and working hard, often harder than anyone else to get an opportunity. We need more movies like this.
Family Idea: Once you get going on watching movie or reading about a great role model or person’s efforts, start a challenge for dinnertime or in the car to find out about someone doing good or life changing work or break down barriers. And see what each of you come up with. It’s amazing when we change our focus, how our conversations and time together will change. We have friends who are big history buffs and they often talk about famous people and places and their kids are very interested in books about the civil war, and American history and they love to go visit battlefields. But if it wasn’t for their extended family’s love or history and discussions of it, it’s unlikely their kids would show such interest. We must encourage our kids in many different areas.
Be the one who keeps telling your kids stories of the people doing the right thing, doing the brave thing, of pushing themselves, or fight for others to make this a better world. We owe it to ourselves to tell our kids who the real role models are and to get excited about those people.
And to share books, and poetry, ideas and concepts with our kids from contemporary authors and authors of yesterday. We should discuss with our kids topics and trends going on in the world so that they can understand the context of the world around them. We must prepare them to be engaged community members who are willing to step outside their house, to let their voices be heard, to stand up for what is right and to give a helping hand to a neighbor.
Be the one who sends your kids into the world prepared and educated by what they learn at home.
Remember what you do at home can change the world.