‘Hands up if you can tell me what “be the change” means?’
Lucy looked around the class trying to size up those most likely to answer. They looked away, pretending to write something in their notebooks.
Catching a movement out of the corner of her eye she swivelled to face Danny. He looked pensive, thoughtful. She smiled encouragingly nodding slightly to show it was okay to speak.
He raised his hand.
Cocking his head on one side he thought for a moment.
‘Miss, does it mean that if I want to change something about the world then I have to change me first?’.
Hallelujah, praise the Lord she thought, at least one of her young charges get’s it.
‘Absolutely Danny, that’s a perfect explanation. Now, I wonder can you think of an example?’
He smiled and nodded.
‘Yes Miss. My Dad was talking about it last night which is why I know. He said it’s all very well recycling plastic bottles, but if we keep buying drinks in them then nothing is going to change as we keep making plastic. So my Mum said why don’t we stop buying drinks in plastic bottles then’.
‘That’s a really good example Danny, thank you.’
Lucy looked at the rest of the class.
‘What do the rest of you think about the example Danny has shared?’
Mica’s hand shot up.
‘Yes Mica, what do you think?’
‘I think it’s a stupid idea Miss because what about the people who make plastic bottles? If no-one buys drinks they won’t have a job’.
Lucy noticed Danny’s face reddening at the perceived rebuke.
‘That’s a good point Mica, there is always going to be a consequence for any change you make. But is that a good enough reason not to change?’
This time it was Janie’s turn. ‘Miss, what if the factory making plastic bottles made them out of recycled plastic instead. Then we could buy the drinks and people would still have their job and we wouldn’t be polluting the planet.
Lucy smiled. ‘That’s a great idea Janie. Of course there will still be other consequences we can’t think of right now, but it might be a good start. And with that in mind, your homework tonight is to come up with at least one good consequence of putting into action what Danny, Mica and Janie have talked about so we can continue the discussion tomorrow’.
The school bell rang and the class were quick to pack books into bags and shoot out to freedom.
Danny lagged behind so she called him over.
‘Danny, you did really well today. You were the only one who wanted to tell us what you thought and as a result we had a good discussion that will, I’m sure, give us some more great ideas tomorrow.
He smiled shyly, ‘thanks Miss’ and then left.