I learn from children
I’ve spent my life listening to children. And sure, oftentimes what I hear is pure nonsense. But I’ve worked hard to quiet my adult brain, to be patient and present, and to filter out the fart jokes, and, believe me it’s worth the effort.
Because they have so much to teach us: about our collective development, our engrained patterns and habitual responses, our complex relationships, our human condition, ourselves. We can also look to them for examples of fearlessness, bold thought and joyous action, novel approaches to problem solving, an ethic of cooperation, and raw kindness, even in the most challenging times.
Prior to entering the cannabis industry, I’d been a teacher for over a decade. In fact, since college, I’d never had a job that didn’t somehow involve children: advocacy, mommy blogging, and parenting; afterschool programs, classroom teaching, and mentoring other educators. Clearly I felt this was my calling and would be my legacy; I continue to see it as a great karmic responsibility.
A better choice for our families
So, a large part of my interest in cannabis is due to the major positive impact it – both the plant itself and regulation around it – can have on our children, our families, and our future. From its amazing potential as medicine to the economic boon it has provided for schools and social programs in regulated states, it’s obvious that there’s more going on here than getting high.
Regulation ensures safe access and mitigates the effects of the illicit market. Moreover, regulation provides an opportunity to talk, in our homes and schools and communities, about the actual facts, the science behind cannabis and the politics behind its prohibition.
We now have the opportunity to examine our relationship with alcohol and prescription drugs, to reevaluate their purpose and necessity in our lives, and to opt for a more benign alternative. We have a chance to revamp drug education and move from a moralistic abstinence model to one that prioritizes harm reduction and real drug talk: typical effects, proper dosing, and how to stay safe while consuming.
The other work
Finally, cannabis conversations can serve as a vehicle for other work – for social justice activism, prison reform, climate change action, community development, and other progressive issues. We can use this platform to teach our children how to effectively advocate, organize, and build momentum around a cause.
These skills are essential to the survival of our democracy and the sustaining of our beautiful, multicultural society. The unprecedented headway cannabis has made, in our states and even in the national agenda, is incredibly encouraging. The “marijuana middle” is proof that we can come together, we can agree, and we can make progress that everyone believes in.
My project, as a parent and as an educator, has always been to establish an environment, to provide a space in which children could essentially learn how to be themselves, and how to be the best possible version of themselves. To teach children how to think, and also how to breathe and how to feel, to model authentic and compassionate engagement with the world, and to offer them the language they need to process, connect, and make meaning.
It’s never too early to grapple with what it means to be a human on this earth, at this moment. I’ve found that the sooner you invite children into this conversation, the more they cultivate self-awareness, empathy, and vision.
The Splimm community
And that’s what I want Splimm to be – a place where we can express our best selves, wrestle with important issues together, and put forth a vision of our shared humanity. A space where we might dare to create a world that better reflects our core values of love, inclusion, and cooperation. Always with an eye to the children to inspire and drive us, to teach us what we don’t yet know if we’re willing to listen.
There are so many more things I want to say, but there will be plenty of time for dialogue. I am so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to get to know you better! Thanks for checking out Splimm…we hope you like it!