My friends and I used to name our summers.
Summer of Rock.
Summer of the Smoothie.
Summer of Sand.
The names were usually fun and encapsulated what we wanted to do. But now it’s summer of 2016, and a lot of things have been happening nationally, bad things, awful things, the sorts of things that we, as grown-ups, often try to shield you from. But they’re things we have to talk about, too. I’m betting that the grown-ups in your life, if they’re sharing this post with you, have already mentioned some of them: shootings in Orlando, terrorism in Turkey and Baghdad, shootings of black men by police officers, and the sniper attack on officers in Dallas that left five of them dead. With all of that happening, it seems like this summer is destined to get a name, too — not a name from me, but a name from history.
Nothing can change the things that have happened this summer, and we should not forget them. But I’d love it if something ELSE happened that would contribute to its final name. That way, instead of Summer of Violence or Summer of Unrest it would be something like Summer of Progress or maybe even Summer of Problem Solving.
I know that I might sound naive. Haven’t we been trying to solve problems of hate and violence and inequality and race relations and police relations for decades?
There’s been so much written about it lately. This prompt is to get you writing about it, too: about how to solve some of our problems. Can you think of anything that will help us understand each other better? Something small? Something big?
Your solution may be just one word.
Or you may have pages full of ideas. As always, complete sentences aren’t required. Just get your thoughts on paper.
If you do have some good ideas, please share them: with an adult in your life, with a political representative, with me. Tell us how to make the world better. We could really use the advice.