According to Encyclopaedia Brittanica, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation or APEC is an organization that aims to “promote free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region.” This means that APEC hopes to improve the living standards and educations levels of people in Asia-Pacific countries by taking measures to help the economy grow, as well as promote “a sense of community.”
Currently, the APEC Summit is under way here in the Philippines, with 21 member-economies in attendance. The event is an important one not only in the history of the Philippines, but also in the history of APEC.
Now, while the APEC Summit involves mostly people from the government and other sectors, you might also want to make the event a bit more meaningful for your kids. Here are five things you can “teach” them based on the APEC event:
1. Cooperation is important on all levels, big and small. APEC is all about countries cooperating for a “greater good.” When we teach our kids to cooperate with others, we can mention to them that even leaders of different countries – like the 21 member-economies of APEC – cooperate with one another.
We can stress the importance of cooperation on all levels – from our smaller “community,” like our family, to the bigger community outside the home.
2. If you want to achieve a goal, making plans is a crucial step. The APEC Summit required months of planning beforehand. We can use it as an example to teach our kids that when we want to achieve a certain goal or goals, we need to make plans on how to do so.
Otherwise, we may not be able to do what we intend to do, nor accomplish what we wish to accomplish. As the famous quote by businessman and author Alan Lakein goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
3. We are all connected to one another. The APEC Summit is a good opportunity to show your children how we human beings are somehow “connected” to our fellow humans all over the world. You can explain to them how the 21 different member-economies help one another, and use this quote by British-American actress Jane Seymour to emphasize your point:
“What I know now is that we're all interconnected and that's a really beautiful thing. We have links to everyone else in our lives and in the world. Different people have different journeys for different reasons. You can't judge, but you can celebrate that there are connections everywhere.”
4. If we want world peace and progress, we must be willing to work for it. This would be a good time to introduce (or re-introduce) the concepts of “world peace” and “progress” to our children. If needed, use a dictionary to help explain what these words mean to them. Emphasize, too, that every person has a role in establishing peace and progress in the world, and that we must be ready to do what it takes to bring them about.
In the words of Nigerian human rights, civil rights and democracy activist Hafsat Abiola, “Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are.”
5. We can help our country’s economy by having an “entrepreneurial mindset.” Part of the APEC’s goals is the encouragement of “free trade” and “investments;” in simpler terms, better business for all. Teaching our kids (and maybe ourselves too!) to be business-minded or have an “entrepreneurial mindset” will ultimately help contribute to the betterment of our economy.
Though the APEC Summit may bring with it its own set of challenges and hardships – especially for us “common folk” – let us do our best to make the event a meaningful and educational one for our children.