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and so I will tell them…

March 25, 2013

When my children alight upon terra firma, I will gather them close and teach them a conspiracy; I will whisper to them a subversive tale under the nodding approval of many moons: I will stare into their starry eyes, and tell them that the world is intensely abundant – so utterly full of everything we need, that we do not need to compete with each other to thrive.

I will tell them that there is more than enough for everyone – and that the idea that we need a money system based on scarcity is a ‘lie’. I will jump up and down – wildly – to get them to see that they are already ‘relevant’, that they do not need to be ‘pretty’, and that they do not need to be great or important or successful or famous to be accepted and embraced.

I will tell them that it is good to learn, but that learning could never be graded or certificated – and that in my time, we were forced to sit on chairs for hours to memorize what was approved for us to know – in the approved ways of knowing it. When they laugh at my misfortune, I will draw them close and tell them that everything is alive – and that we once used to treat the earth as a ‘resource’ and humans as nails on a wheel.

When they start to fall asleep, I will stroke their curly mulatto hair-locks, and sing to them about the bravery of the ant, the haughtiness of a rock, and the beauty of their mother. As I tuck them into bed, I will smile – and leave the fairies that attend them smiling in my wake…

Excerpts from the speech made by Adebayo C. Akomolafe at the Economics of Happiness conference

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