Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Raffi randomly came up in a conversation my husband and I were having the other day about how frustrating it must be to be a "pioneer." We were discussing how we knew people 25 years ago that were talking about climate change and when a few of my "far out" cousins were discussing nutrition, we would just roll our eyes and reach for the bologna sandwiches on white bread followed by twinkies. "Life's too short! The gooey white fluff in the middle makes me happy! "
Now I'm pouring over books like Anticancer, making rice with turmeric and buying the organic version of everything...which is what got my husband and I talking about how long it takes the general population to change. And how hard it must have been for the brave souls who knew better and dared to have a voice.
The children's music of Raffi was undeniably the house favorite throughout the childhoods of our four children. Dancing to "Down by the Bay" was almost a requirement for anyone coming to visit.
One day I heard on the news that Raffi had refused to have his CDs sold in those obnoxious plastic jewel boxes because they were bad for the environment. Remember, sugar cereals were still a staple in our house, as well as the kind of really orange cheese that was individually wrapped in plastic. I thought, "Whoa! That's over the top!"
Of course now I know better and my respect for Raffi goes way beyond his talent for bringing joy by singing songs that make you want to jump around with your kids.
I've always thought deep in the recesses of my brain that Raffi and I would have a lot in common some day...and the day is here.
He's still a pioneer but this time it's about children and the critical issue of internet safety. He was right about the environment and now he's right about the failure of technology companies to protect our kids.
After the tragic suicide of Amanda Todd, Raffi co-founded the Red Hood Project and has written Lightweb Darkweb about online safety. Parent education is key but who will stand up against some of the giants who are not sincerely stepping up to protect our kids? And honestly, I believe parent and child internet education should begin in kindergarten or first grade.
Now that I'm older, I can recognize a hero much quicker. Raffi Rocks.