Children Sometimes Get It, and Adults Should Listen

Women of China (English) - - BLENDING IN |沟通 - BILLY LEE 李名信Photos by QUANJING 供图:全景

Editor's Note: Retired architect Billy Lee, 86, is a founding member of The 1990 Institute, which focuses on building trust and understanding between people from China and US. In this article, Lee noted that children sometimes offer some really interesting, and insightful, observations, and adults should listen to the children.编者按:在美国著名华人建筑师李名信看来,有时候,孩子们会提出一些非常有趣和颇有见地的看法,而大人们恰恰应该认真聆听孩子们的心声。

Since having hosted the first national children's art festival in the history of the United States (held on the National Mall, in Washington, in September 1998), the International Child Art Foundation (ICAF) has produced the World Children's Festival (WCF) — the "Olympics" of children's imagination and co-creation — every four years.

The WCF is a transformative experience where creativity and co-creation become building blocks for collaborative innovation and positive social change. The WCF empowers the children to shape the future, and to change the world.

During the third and final session of a special Icaf-sponsored Friendship Workshop, on July 4, 2015, at the National Mall, 24 international teenagers (12 boys and 12 girls preselected from more than 70 countries and regions) were buoyant and anxious to summarize what they had learned, and the inspiration obtained, during the first two days.

During the first session, they learned how to break ice with strangers from many different cultures. During the second session, they brainstormed the pros and cons of making friends — touching on the deep impacts of wars and peace, hatred and suspicion, and love and trust. The teenagers could not understand why we, humans, have been able to send a spacecraft to the moon and make robots play chess, but have not been able to learn and teach one another how to tolerate and befriend others.

They decided children, sometimes, must push adults on basic ideals. They heard, for

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