12-Year-Old Adora Svitak Promotes Childish and Irrational Behavior at TED

“Listen to your elders.”
It’s a common phrase that I have heard many times during my lifetime. But who says older people really have it all figured out?
Adora Svitak, a 12-year-old, who is also a published author and teacher, begs to differ; she says that “irritation” or “childish” thinking is one area where our elders should actually be listening to us.
Svitak refers to Anne Frank and Ruby Bridges, two young females who dared to think “childishly” and deeply impacted history around the world.
“Who’s to say that certain types of irrational thinking aren’t exactly what the world needs?” Svitak asked an audience at the 2010 TED Conference. “Maybe you’ve had grand plans before, but stopped yourself, thinking ‘Oh that’s impossible,’ or ‘That costs too much,’ or ‘That won’t benefit me.’ For better or worse, we kids aren’t hampered as much when it comes to thinking about reasons not to do some things. Kids can be full of inspiring aspirations and hopeful thinking.”
Continue to watch Adora’s TED speech video.
Svitak might just be on to something here. In a society where everyone is concerned about the economy or finding a job, maybe some positive thinking is exactly what we need. Watch the rest of her speech to see what other ways students might actually be a step ahead of their professors – and how kids might be smarter than their parents.

Adora Svitak photo via Flickr