Column) A Future CEO…

Recently, my household became pretty disrupted by the arrival of Australian relatives: a husband, his wife, and their four daughters between the ages of 8 and 17. Out of dissatisfaction with the Australian school system, their mother decided to homeschool them.

A bad approach, according to a lot of people, because homeschooled kids will experience both social and educational disadvantages. Well, they should get acquainted with this foursome.

These daughters are mature and independent. They all have four very different personalities with good brains, they all are concerned about humanity and the well-being of the earth, and they are not afraid to enter whatever discussion. Regardless of the age and status of the person they are facing.  One day I went grocery shopping with the second youngest child. She is 12 years of age, but she already displays unmistakable leadership qualities. Moreover, she is very committed to the sustainability issue, and, as it turned out, she embraces every opportunity to talk about it with others. In the middle of the vegetable department I had to explain why the cucumbers were wrapped in plastic – which I could not -, why the store of my choice did not sell unwrapped mushrooms but only sold them in blue plastic boxes, and why the plastic bags had not yet disappeared from the store. Right…

When I automatically grabbed the plastic wrapped banana brand that I always take, simply because it is the cheapest, she gave me a devastating look followed by pitying headshakes. Stubborn, she stayed in front of the bananas. Arms crossed. A wordless discussion that I could not win from this steadfast 12-year-old.

With a sudden rise in guilt towards everything I did to the earth, I finally put the bananas back and took a much more expensive unpacked bunch. ‘That’s the way to contribute to prospects for the youth’, she said decisively and walked away. I nodded. Speechless, knowing that I did my grocery shopping this morning with one of the much-needed female CEOs of the future.

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