I see the Education Guardian and Piccadilly Press have announced a competition for children between the ages of 8 and 13. Asked to submit their thoughts in no more than 3,000 words on what for them would constitute a perfect world, the ten winners will be published in a book of that title. It’s more than probable that anyone reading this blog won’t be eligible! -though a grandchild might be.
In today’s edition of The Guardian, the competition is introduced by the journalist Jon Snow, who is by far the best newscaster of the British TV networks. He writes that the place to start in any quest for a perfect world might be Granny and Grandpa at the centre of the family. “Any child visiting a grandparent or great-grandparent in one of the vast number of old people’s homes in Britain must wonder what offence their old relative committed to end up in one of those places . Early history teaches us that our forebears learned most from within the family. Yet today the family is under siege.
So my perfect world would welcome my extended family to breakfast as a habit. We would live in housing systems that encouraged interdependent family units. These units would enable our older relatives to live downstairs or close by, so that they could share in our familial activities with ease….
My perfect world would empower local communities so they were the core of our democratic systems. Central government would merely look after foreign affairs, defence and economic strategy. Everything else, from health-care and education to housing, would be returned to the local community.
Every child would have easy access to swimming pools, hot tubs, sports pitches, gymnasiums and more. Fewer children would ever go into care because the encouragement of extended families would produce care from within the wider family grouping…Crime would be reduced because, the family and the community would come together to resist such behaviour….
Above all my perfect world would be built on love. Love of life, of family, of community and of the world we live in. “