Why We Really Need Kids to Greet Visitors from Outer Space

There is actually an office called UNOOSA (The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs). And they do many useful things. But they are also home to the planet’s official alien greeter. Should the long-awaited little green men ever land, this space ambassador gets to say the first hello. Or play the first three notes. Or rub protuberances.
That has to be the best job in the world.

I’m sure many people would dispute the alien ambassador’s right to be our species’ official spokesperson to our future alien visitors. Some would say we need a world leader or a wise peacemaker. I argue that we should send a linguist, a physicist, a physiologist and a computer scientist… figuring that if anyone stands a chance of figuring out what the ETs want, it would be my crack team.

But my very wise friend had a much better idea: send a group of kids. If the aliens are enlightened as she thinks they must be to get here in the first place, they would bring along some of their own spawn. Let the youngsters play, said my wise girlfriend, eventually they’ll figure out what needs figuring out.

And that tells you quite a bit about how we both see education. Kids figure things out for themselves. Even the complicated stuff. They just need to be given the time and space to tinker and play and experiment. We are merely there to give them the opportunities and guidance.

Come to think of it, teaching is the best job in the world.


Bill is alien
Bill is alien (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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