As the AIS-R fifth grade classes watched JR’s acceptance speech for the TED Prize in 2011, we began to brainstorm what our Collective Artist Statement could be. After compiling the notes from our 100 students, we began summarizing, drafting and sharing our thoughts. What emerged from these discussions, drafts and edits were three main ideas that we wanted to share:
1. Lighting a Fire is our metaphor for pushing our own learning anytime and all of the time according to our interests. Lighting a Fire is an individual choice to think, learn and create anything you want so that we never rest in our quest to becoming better learners and people.
2. As students at an International School in Saudi Arabia, we are fully aware of how important it is to respect cultural, ethnic and religious differences. We realize that moving forward as individuals in society, we must learn to acknowledge and become sensitive to differences as we build communities of trust, respect and equality. This second idea recognizes that we are all equal and our differences should be respected, if we are ever, to make this world a better place.
3. This final idea recognizes that with these two above changes, we begin to work towards a world that is more positive and constructive. We believe that with these changes in ourselves and in our communities, we will see changes extend to the larger global community as well. We believe that, even though we are only fifth graders, we can still change the world and make it a better place.
It all starts with the individual choice to continually push ourselves to become better people. This is followed by the individual choice to treat others with respect and equality. Finally, when more and more people adopt these changes, we will see ripple effects on a global scale. Only then will we know that The Good Virus has spread!