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Out pf the Mouth of Babes

By Catherine Wayland

wo of my son Jackson’s dearest friends are Malcolm and Lola Daehler. Malcolm is 9 years old and in 4th grade at P.S. 212 in New York City. Lola is 8 years old and in 3rd grade at the same school as her brother. The siblings are eco-friendly, animal loving, vegetarians. They are of course young and are apt to live in the moment always. But they have also been educated by conscientious parents, Kathy and Jake, and live responsibly for tomorrow as well.

My son Jackson is three and Malcolm and Lola are his friends but also his beloved role models. If I let myself be teachable, they are mine as well. Here is what Malcolm and Lola taught Jax and I about the environment and war:


Catherine: What would you do if you were President of the United States in 2050?

Lola: I would want everyone to be vegetarian. For eggs and cheese, I would make laws that made the production of eggs and cheese natural and not by putting animals in cages or hooked to machines. Animals should never be in cages.

Malcolm: I would take money from security and make sure that poor people had homes to live in.

Catherine: What laws would you pass?

Lola: I wouldn’t allow any more cars that use gas.

Malcolm: I would pass laws that would prevent all wars. I wouldn’t let any President who supports war to have a second term.

Catherine: How would you prevent wars?

Malcolm: Do you know that expression, “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me?

Catherine: Yes.

Malcolm: Well that isn’t true, words hurt very much. People should be more careful with what they say to each other.

Catherine: I think that is a very good point. Maybe wars start with words before even weapons.

Malcolm: Yeah. And I would fine anyone with weapons.

Catherine: So if either of you were in a fight with someone, what would you do?

Malcolm: I would try to end it by apologizing first if I had to, and definitely no weapons.

Lola: I would do what Jax does, I would say, “No thank you”, and walk away. Then, I would call the police.

Malcom: I read in “Times for Kids” that the Iraqis have a plan for ending the war.

Catherine: Do you remember 9/11?

Lola: I remember that planes crashed and bad people made that happen. I remember that the bad people thought God wanted them to do that.

Malcolm: I remember a cracking sound. I remember bad people that were jealous that America had better schools and more things.

Catherine: What did you think of 9/11?

Lola: I don’t think God would do that. God is in everyone, everything. God is in our soul. Even animals have souls.

Malcolm: Only machines don’t have souls.

Catherine: What would be your best wish for the way people live in the future?

Malcolm: Hopefully not so addicted to oil, and all using battery cars.

Lola: People would be arrested for hunting animals. Killing animals is bad for the environment.

Malcolm: Yeah, and dogs would be allowed in restaurants.

What do you think the world will look like in 2050?

Malcolm: There will be flying cars and robots. But no one should make a computer so advanced that they have a mind of their own.

Lola: Hopefully there won’t be many guns around.

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