33 Visionaries for Chicago (2019)

Jim Duignan on Honoring The Instinct of Children
Founder, Stockyard Institute and associate professor, College of Education, DePaul University

My singular hope for our city’s future is that we attend to our children, and to covet the idea that somewhere between their mortality and their play spaces, there is a function of policy. I hope the city can come together to provide them security, freed from the consequences of being young. Another hope is to keep the steady release of their imaginations at the forefront—to let them dream of a future inside our city—and to ensure aspects of being young, like walking to school, or staying in their homes, being with their families, or remaining in our country are protected. The city would pivot with enormous support if policy and our collective, community conversations revolved around our children. We would feel better about the city, as our concerns are mostly personal. The answers to a better world lie with our children, if we stop interfering with their honest instincts of what soars. There is another hope: that we stop educating their creativity away from them and seek their counsel in ways that tell us more about our difficulties to maintain a vision for the city without them.

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