The Institute for Humane Education (IHE), which we’ve raved about here in Our Hen House time and time again (and even interviewed its president, Zoe Weil, for our podcast), is asking the question: what do you see in your crystal ball? IHE, which is dedicated to creating a “humane, sustainable, peaceful world for all people, animals, and the planet,” is a pioneer in humane education. Now, with their newest undertaking, Crystal Ball: A Community Art Project (pdf), they are encouraging us to get messy, and create an artistic replica of what is possible for the future of the planet.
When I started reading about this one-of-a-kind project, I immediately became forlorn: Why do kids always get to do fun things when we grown-ups have to be responsible and mature?!? But then I realized, you don’t have to be a kid to apply! So get out the papier-mâché, folks, because we’re gonna construct ourselves a 3 to 4 foot crystal ball. On it, we’re going to express our visions for the future through “words, images, collage, mixed media — any medium at all….” Finally, an advocacy project where poetic license is encouraged!
This massive undertaking will bring to the 15th anniversary celebration of IHE an exciting new dynamic. The celebration, where all the crystal balls will be featured (either live or via photos or video), will take place on July 2 in Surrey, ME.
Needless to say, nurturing humane education is absolutely crucial if we care about the next generation — and the sustainability of the billions of inhabitants of our planet, not to mention our planet itself. The Crystal Ball: A Community Art Project has the potential to engage people of all ages (and okay, it’s true that this is terrific for kids) in starting the dialog about what tomorrow will look like. It’s a nifty awareness-raising campaign that is focused on positivity and thinking outside of the box.
Sometimes (well, frequently), I look at my 1-year-old niece, and I fear for her future, and the future of her entire generation. But then I see projects such as this one and I get this tiny little buzzy gnawing deep inside… is that… is that hope? If everybody was engaging their hearts and minds the way IHE advocates, if young people were learning about compassion to all creatures, maybe my crystal ball would be not so dismal.