Most kids are creative. Faced with having nothing to do, they invent games and stuff.
A couple of young brothers in Lompoc are taking creative thinking to a new level, and there’s a message in their methods that should resonate throughout the Central Coast.
Boss and Beau Brockett — 6 and 5 respectively — like to visit their grandmother’s home, and after the usual “Hi, Grandma!” pleasantries, one of their absolute most favorite things to do is dash across the street to play on the swings at Pioneer Park.
However, much of the fun disappeared late last year, when the swings were damaged, after which they were removed by city workers.
The expedient thing would have been for the boys to invent some other form of amusement, or like too many kids these days, just complain about the loss of the swings. Not Boss and Beau. They decided to do something about it.
After a family discussion during which the boys were told they couldn’t just buy new swings to replace the missing ones, the enterprising youngsters launched a search for outside financing.
First stop, City Hall to seek the wisdom of the mayor and Parks Department officials. They were told by officials the city didn’t have the funds to address Pioneer Park right away. Like most local governments these days, there just isn’t enough money to fix everything.
Less-resourceful kids might have given up at that point. Not Boss and Beau. While at City Hall they spotted a barrel with a sign encouraging “Pennies for Playgrounds” donations.
The light bulbs flashed on, and Boss and Beau launched a “Pennies for Pioneer Park” campaign. Earlier this month, the boys turned over $350 to the mayor’s office. The boy’s mom started a GoFundMe online drive, which quickly swelled the swings fund to more than $400. The goal now is to raise up to $1,000.
There was a presentation at a City Council meeting, at which the boys’ efforts provoked an ovation from the crowd. Talk about glowing young faces.
Mayor Bob Lingl had singular praise for the lads: “This is just an example of (the fact that) it doesn’t matter who you are, you can make a difference.”
And here’s the thing about doing something that truly makes a difference in your community — it starts a really important ball rolling.
Boss and Beau definitely are in the spirit. They came up with the idea to start a lemonade stand so they could raise money, which could then be used to buy toys as gifts for some of the children living in the nearby Bridgehouse Shelter, operated by Good Samaritan Inc.
We bring all this up because there are just so many important messages in this kind of story, especially as America and much of the world seems to have locked ideological horns, and would rather argue than get things done.
Once they discovered the loss of the playground swings, Boss and Beau could have opted for the couch and the latest video games. But they didn’t. Like any good fullback in a big football game, they saw an opening and they took it.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about this nation’s crumbling infrastructure, the costs of replacing what’s old and broken, and the seemingly insurmountable obstacles in such a project.
What our leaders really need to do is forget about the obstacles, and just go for it — because if we don’t, the cost of fixing things is just going to keep going up.
In other words, borrow a page from Boss and Beau’s playbook.