The 11 Year-Old Philosopher

My little brother is eleven, but he might as well be one hundred and eleven. He is what you’d call an “old-soul”. He wakes up every morning groggy and confused as to where he is, and follows a strict morning routine of watching T.V. for two hours and then eating. “It’s better for my digestion”, he told me. He becomes winded in his soccer games and has to take breaks, standing with his hands on his back like it’s been through “some weight” over his eleven years of life. He complains that children in his class are too loud and have poor table manners. He is an absolute slob, often forgetting to put away the butter after he JUST TOOK IT OUT. But above all of these, he is incredibly insightful. I mean, way beyond his years. There isn’t a dirty joke adult enough for this kid. He will snicker, with a raised eyebrow, as to say “Oh, I got ya”. However, tonight he engaged in a very deep and complex topic with me: the end of the world. As he delved into theories of evolution and global warming, I saw the makings of profound and wise thinker in him. He spoke so eloquently, articulating his thoughts better than I could. When I challenged him he didn’t retreat: he pushed on. I was dumbfounded. I want so bad to nurture my old-man little brother. To encourage his love of knowledge and debate to continue. Yes, he is eleven. He loves comic books and The Amazing World of Gumball (who doesn’t right!?). He wants to be a movie director. And I hope this dream comes true. But he’s so much more than he knows. And I want him to be so much more. He is our future. They all are; this next generation of thinkers and inventors and innovators. Our little siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins, children and grandchildren. And it is our job to instill in them a thirst to make change. And I love my 11 year-old philosopher.

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