“Kids Say the Darndest Things” was a weekly radio and television staple beloved by me and many people like me around the world. Whether in his radio or televised shows, Art Linkletter proved to be the master of entering into the mind of children, seeing the world through their eyes, and releasing their insightful opinions and comments to amused adult audiences who it would appear could never get too much of it. The magic in the Show was never in what Art told the kids. It was always in what the kids told Art. His major contribution to the show was that he listened to the children!
Thanks to Art Linkletter’s inspiration, in 2009 I produced a 16-week Television Series in Jamaica called, “A God Pickney Dem”, which is Jamaican dialect for “They are God’s Children”. But as important as the choice of name was, the descriptor was arguably even more important – “The Show that Listens to Children”.
If truth is to be told, children always have a lot to say. That’s how they are made. That’s how God created them (us). The problem is that adults (we) just don’t listen to them. If we are lucky, on a good day we might “hear” them. But seldom do we “listen” to them. Whenever we listen to them, there will always be much that we can learn from them, first about themselves, then about ourselves, and lastly about the world around us, and of which they are a very important part.
To be clear, none of us are in possession of very many facts. Most of what we claim to know are perceptions which of course, are influenced by perspectives, which can and do change very easily. Who is to say that the perception of an adult contributes more to a grasp of reality than that of a child? To be clear, knowledge is typically a function of age. Not so with wisdom and perception.
“A God Pickney Dem” was modeled on “Kids Say the Darndest Things”. But whereas I cannot speak with any degree of certainty about my mentor’s Show, I am declaring that none of the children on “A God Pickney Dem” were prompted, rehearsed or censored by the Host of the Show. I suppose parents and teachers will always try to guess what the Host will ask the children, and will even try to tell them what to say. Best of luck for them, especially when the Host himself did not know what he would be asking the children. In fact, some of the more remarkable exchanges were when a conversation developed between the Host and the child, and almost invariably, it was the child who influenced the direction of the conversation.
But beware, not everyone is qualified to handle live ammunition. It requires training, skill and yes. God’s guidance and protection. When you stand in front of a television camera on a live Show, or even on an uncensored recorded Show, your simple questions can produce very profound and sometimes embarrassing answers. That is right – embarrassing for parents, for teachers, for politicians, and even for the Host. And we had many examples of all of those on “A God Pickney Dem”.
The last observation is that the presence of “God” in the name of the Show does not necessarily make it a Christian Show. To be clear, I am a Christian, and as such, I share much of the world-view of Christians who accept the Bible as was originally penned, to be the Word of God. For that reason, I believe that God created every child. But I do not skew my questions towards Christianity or the Christian perspective. In fact, the opposite is true. I try to make my questions as general as possible so that the child is free to take the answer in any direction he or she chooses.
However, what is true is that in Jamaica, because there is no such thing as “Separation of Church and State”, the average child is much more aware of the Bible and its contents as well as the Christian world view, than is the average child in America. This definitely skewed the responses of some of the children that you will hear.
But whether in Jamaica, in America or in any other part of the world, little children will always say it as they see it, as they feel it, and as they believe it, or, put another way, as it is. We may call what they say, “the darndest things”, but just remember, they might be saying the same thing about what we say.
Ten years later, I am Doctor Perspective… but I am still “Uncle Godfrey”, and they are all still God’s children. If you would like to add to the shortlist of clean, healthy but instructive television entertainment Shows that are publicly available, then you may want to support the renewal of “A God Pickney Dem”. For cultural relevance, the name of the Show may be changed by mutual consent, but the philosophy as already stated will remain the same. There will never be a shortage of God’s children and consenting parents and guardians. The model already exists, and the Host is always ready at the drop of a hat, in preparation for which I have already dropped my hair.
How will the Show’s production be funded?
The first thing that we must put in place are Sponsors, whether private, public or endowed. In America, this is very easy, through grant funding, business tax write-offs, television station sponsorship, or straight philanthropic donations. Therefore, if you are a Television Station Executive or have control of Grant funding, or are a Philanthropic Sponsor, or a Business owner who would like your business to be identified with this Show, please step forward.
Contact me at TheDoc@DoctorPerspective.com or at 954-299-9394 or 954-353-1755.
“A God Pickney Dem”, called by any other name will help us learn the truth about our children, ourselves, our politicians and others in public service, and the world in which we live. And the “whistle blowers” are protected because they have already been granted immunity.
I am waiting on you.