Every Friday, students and teachers in my school gather for an assembly called Town Meeting to celebrate children's voices.
Through writing, art, and song, kids share their work with hundreds of fellow students and parents. Part of this process is an interview with one of the writers, and one of the questions traditionally asked is, "If you could have any super power, what super power would that be?"
For twenty years, I have waited for a child to answer the question in the way I would answer the question, and last month, it finally happened.
When a little girl was asked what her super power would be, she said, "I would live forever."
I happened to be the person emceeing Town Meeting at the time, so I was able to ask the young lady why she wants to live forever. Her followup response was just as brilliant:
"There's just so much I want to do. And never enough time."
Somehow, this young lady understands the fleeting nature of time and its inherent, immense value, even at such a young age. While super powers like teleportation and super speed also hint at an understanding of the value of time, living forever (presuming you're living in such a condition to allow you to experience a full and complete life) demonstrates a wisdom beyond her years. It demonstrates a curiosity and a zest for life. A desire to do experiment. Experience. Try new things.
I have a list of jobs I'd like to hold at some point in my life. The list looks like this:
CEO of Boy Scouts of America
CEO of Girl Scouts of America
Professional poker player
Hot dog vendor at an MLB stadium
I'll need half a dozen lifetimes to try all of these professions, and I'm adding to the list constantly.
That little girl gets it. There's so much to do.
I was so impressed. So happy to find a child who thinks like me.
It only took 20 years.