Imagine (a guest post by my 12year-old daughter)

A portrait of the writer Sanzari (and her henna tattoo) by her 7-yr-old sister Nilavi (who started 2nd grade today).

The following is a brief reflection by my 12-year-old daughter Sanzari Aranyak, who just started 7th grade this week. She wrote this a few weeks ago, during her summer break, and has been asking me to share it on my blog. She wrote this when she discovered the following and other music videos in the “Playing for Change” series on YouTube with some friends and was somewhat taken aback by their responses:

The world is an unhappy place. Religion is one of the major causes for unhappiness. Politics is not a nice thing but people want leaders, so, they get them. It is the people who vote who choose the leaders and if they are not happy with them then it is their own fault. If no one voted what would happen? Would we not have republic? We would still have leaders. We would still have politics. Or would we? Imagine. Imagine no religion. Would the world be so unhappy? We would still have war. Would we still have stupid wars? It be interesting to see. The world today is sad. There is a program called Playing For Change. They play songs like Imagine by John Lennon

and War/No More Trouble by Bob Marley

A girl saw these videos and asked why they didn’t sing Katy Perry. Songs these days are all love songs there are no meaningful songs like there used to be. What a time to be living. People have created amazing devices but don’t use them to do anything worthwhile. People watch tv and play video games when they could change the world. Why don’t they? Is it hard to change the world? Not rule it, change it. Starting with something small and ending up changing the world. Making dreams a reality. Just Imagine. Why do people have to invent ways that the world came about. Why do they defy science. Say math is stupid. What is wrong with this world? Why am I afraid to change it? To stand out and help. Why fit in? What is fitting in. Being the same is awful. Stand up and help. Defy the norm. Undermine the status quo. You are one in seven billion but you can change the world. Imagine.

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About aranyak

I am an associate professor of vertebrate ecology at California State University, Fresno.
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8 Responses to Imagine (a guest post by my 12year-old daughter)

  1. Lela says:

    It’s great that you are thinking about these issues so critically, Sanzari! Good Post!
    I think that you will definitely affect change in the world and probably are doing this already :)

    My personal opinion is that the best strategy to make people think about their choices and become interested in your ideas is to be enthusiastic. I think that your friends probably have not been exposed to carefully-considered opinions may need to hear them several times before they “get it”. I think that enthusiasm is an excellent tool to make people listen and become open to new ideas. I also think it’s a good way to approach the world and it’s problems. There’s a lot of personal satisfaction in figuring out problems and developing novel solutions. I’d actually call it “fun”. I think your happiness in solving these problems and envisioning potential goodness is an excellent subversive weapon against your peers’ stale, cliched choices and against the world’s sadnesses. My advice would be to have fun and be enthusiastic. Your peers may not agree, but they cannot stop you from enjoying your opinions and actions, probably more than they enjoy their Katy Perrys.

    Your fellow Nancy Drew fan, Lela

  2. Macrobe says:

    “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” :)
    We need more like you, Sanzari.

  3. Rathi says:

    I wish all the kids think the way you do. The world be very different if we have millions of Sanzari (s). Stay on long in the game, you will make the blue planet livable and lovable.

  4. Maria Muto-Porter says:

    You are fortunate to have two smart aware parents who have raised you to think for yourself not spout someone else’s doctrine. I remember you when you were small, and even then you had a proud independent spirit. You and people like you will inherit this world and I think you will do a better job of managing it than my generation. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  5. Samina Najmi says:

    Rock on, Sanzari! Maya and I are reading this together and think you are very persuasive. You will surely make a difference in the world. One of my favorite quotations comes from Mahatama Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see!”

  6. Don Davis says:

    Imagination is such a powerful tool. Sanzari, you have such wonderful insight. My hope is that young people, such as yourself, can help others bring about real change in the world.

  7. eeslami says:

    “Is it hard to change the world? Not rule it, change it. Starting with something small and ending up changing the world. Making dreams a reality…Stand up and help.”
    Wise, inspiring words, Sanzari. Thank you!

  8. Sandra Chung says:

    Sanzari, I’m impressed by your thoughtful observation about popular song lyrics. You’re right when you write that they hardly ever talk about weighty matters in the world anymore. The world needs more people like you to write and sing and speak about these issues you’ve written about here. Let’s hope that you and others among us can lead our society to real and positive change.

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