Every Child Is A Radical is a children's book manuscript

Every Child is a Radical is kid-inspired encyclopedic romp through the whole shebang of being alive. In looking for principled books for my children I was surprised by a conspicuous absence of secular ethical considerations and an often patronizing lack of substance and beauty. Inspired to fill the gap I’ve written Every Child is a Radical. It came out in rhyme (I think because the children were little) but I am converting to prose... someday :)

Part One reflects on evolution, ethics, and children as radicals. Part Two examines family, emotions, consent, and prejudice against children, while Part Three reflects on racism, gender and colonization. Part Four tackles our extractive and consumerist culture. Part Five discusses democracy and the lack of children’s voices, civic engagement, work and wealth—asking children to imagine what truly enriches a life and celebrate children’s activism. Finally, Part Six ponders religion, death, war and compassion.  

 

Here's an excerpt:

 

CHILDISM
 

One cool thing about getting older is a learning called experience
it happens with time
it’s a knowing that’s resilient.
 

That’s why grown-ups are tasked with guiding you

to make sure you’re healthy and safe
but that doesn’t mean we own you
or that we’re superior because of age.
 

But you tend to be excluded from deciding what to do.
Kids aren’t often taken seriously like you all have a loose screw.

Just like racism that’s a thinking
that tries to keep some humans down

so their voices can’t be heard
cause they’re different from ours.
 

But you know different doesn’t mean anyone is less or better
the way you see the world
is a unique and golden treasure.

I know that you’re vibrant
trustful and defiant
curious and forgiving
intelligent and giving.

And you can be just as mean
just as complex as other beings.
There is not one human that is perfect
our many differences are worth seeing.
 

Childism is the name
for this other kind of thinking
that kids should be respected and their rights not be neglected.

That fact that we’re all equal
has to be the new perspective.

Childism is about recognizing the injustices with children everywhere
how so many get mistreated how it’s all very unfair.

It’s about the rights of children in a movement we’re all building

so you will not be victims
but a strong voice in the system.
 

It’s about how children have little say in what happens today
or tomorrow and next
always being told what is best.
 

It’s about how kids aren’t trusted and have nowhere to hide
how they can get easily abducted because of their size.
How too many grown-ups raise their voices
push and squeeze and make it joyless.
And how children’s brains get affected when their needs are neglected.

There’s a lot that childism is about
because kids don’t have equal rights
in this world adults still rule
and this prejudice isn’t cool.
 

When I was growing up
a lot of kids were getting beatings.
Now some countries have outlawed it
physical punishment has no reason.

Most grown-ups do try to keep you safe
and put good food on your plate
we try to help you see the world
to learn to think and contemplate.
 

Yet it’s not your choice to have been born you didn’t get to choose your parents even though most try to be good guides
grown-ups can be an embarrassment.

We might get lazy at times
in our hearts and our big brains
and forget to accept difference and let our love guide from within.
 

You’re not a super pet
or an annoying little pest
not a little doll to dress
or something we possess.
 

You can be so forgiving
and that is always very healing
but kids must be respected
as complete human beings.

You’re flesh and blood and lot’s of heart and grown-ups have to do their part
even when life is full of farts
tantrums, yells and kicks and barfs.

You aren’t here to make us happy or to just blindly obey.
We’re all here to honor one another and figure out how to behave.


Kids dream big and wild
and grown-ups learn from kids
learning is reciprocal
it’s not a one way street.

All humans want love
it’s interconnected
life only makes sense
when we’re safe and respected.

Commoner is a full length script 

 

Commoner takes place in the Pacific Northwest, now a sovereign nation where technology and a focus on social good have created an egalitarian society. Marea is a young and undocumented Latinx artist and self-taught software engineer from the USA who crosses into this new country to leave a broken relationship with new baby in tow. Marea joins the elusive engineers who shape Cascadia's central platform, the backbone of a vigorous and transparent social democracy.  USA sanctions escalate, and citizens crossing borders are subjected to criminal penalties. Marea lives in self-imposed exile, and must decide if she’ll take the risky journey back home.

Inspired by my own immigration journey and Commoner started with a desire to explore what we are willing to give up and what we get in return. Having lived most of my life in 2 very large countries, each with their own corrupted democracy, Commoner was an opportunity to imagine a smaller scale, a life less hurried, and the creative resilience of people living with an awareness of their role in the cycle of things.