The KidSpirit Youth Voices blog on Spirituality & Practice features 11- to 17-year-olds in deep and often surprising explorations of the spiritual life. Their writing and artwork was first published in KidSpirit, the sole spiritual magazine by and for global youth. KidSpirit is now 10 years old, and to celebrate they have published a sampler of articles, poetry, visual art, and personal essays from the nearly online magazines published to date.
What goes into the magazine is decided by an editorial board of young people with some advice (and we understand lots of cookies) provided by Founding Editor and Executive Director Elizabeth Dabney Hochman. In addition to the U.S.-based board, there are satellite editorial boards in Australia, China, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, and at Phillips Academy in Massachusetts. Here is how they describe their mission:
"KidSpirit is a global coed online magazine and community for deep thinkers with big ideas. Our community is a place where members actively express their views and engage each other through groups and comments.
"The quarterly magazine is a unique forum for kids to tackle age-old questions that affect us all. We want to help the young people of the world show their colors and share each other's cultures, art, beliefs, ethics, and values. Our goal is to encourage varied perspectives and contribute to greater mutual understanding in our lives and our world.
"Each issue of the magazine has a thought-provoking theme that draws in readers and urges further exploration. Our Editorial Board meets to discuss future issues and current submissions, have fun, and eat cookies. We invite submissions in the form of poetry, artwork, and articles from readers around the world."
This superb sampler includes pieces from the nearly 40 issues of KidSpirit. Some of the themes are Roots of Spirit, Spirit and Materialism, Myth & Meaning, Competition and Achievement, Money and Value, The Heroic Spirit, Beauty and the Senses, Discovery and Progress, Climate Change: Tending Our Planet, Power, Human Dignity, and Mysteries of the Universe.
Some adults are invited to participate. Each issue has a PerSpective written by such spiritual leaders as Lama Surya Das, Eboo Patel, Lynne Twist, Rami Shapiro, the Interfaith Amigos, and others.
It's impossible to pick out just a few selections to mention here. You need to get this book yourself – and recommend it to your congregational or public library. Listen to what today's young people have to say about how they view the world – from everyday events to momentous occasions. Many religious and spiritual traditions are represented. You will hear about these young people's hopes, their concerns, and their passions. And, because this volume is printed in full color, you can also relish the original art work illustrating the articles and poetry.
One more idea: This is a great book to give to a young person in your life to inspire and encourage his/her own creativity.