Interview with two boys in the bus

Monday, November 1, 2021 (07:30)

Today I went to town with the morning bus. There were two boys, obviously classmates going to school, maybe 10 years old. I had seen them several times before in this bus. They had previously captured my attention because of how they talk with each other during the travel. They don’t stare at their smartphones, they really talk with each other, alternating with short moments of silence, where they watch the outside world. Sometimes I had captured fragments of what they talk about: nothing special, everyday topics of ten-year-old boys. What’s interesting, is the way they are living these ten daily routine minutes together.

Today I disturbed their being together. I entered into their private room. I stepped in front of them and said:

Boys, may I ask you a question? I ask because I see you now for the third time and I have the impression that you are smart guys. My question is this: Do you also have the feeling that the world is currently in a big kind of a mess, with all those crises? Or would you rather say that everything is okay and there’s no reason to worry?

One of them said: Rather that answer with the crises.

Me: And do you actually worry?

Boy: Yes, a bit. Not very much because I just got through it (põdenesin läbi).

I agree that I am not really gifted for running such interviews.

  • My question wasn’t neutral. I asked “do you also have the feeling”.

  • I have acoustic difficulties to understand what people, especially young

  • people, say.

  • I lack experience and time for getting children to speak about “big questions”.

Despite these issues I believe that we should make the effort of encouraging children to get aware of their own opinion, which might be different from what “everybody else” says.

There are many good teachers in Estonia who would do this job much better than I.

Let us pray that some experienced teacher feels the call of acting after reading this story.

Follow-up: When the only shelter is occupied.