Monday, October 17, 2016
The Challenge for the New Generation
Retrospection is powerful. Yesterday as I sat through two basketball games my grand daughter was playing, I had this very interesting in-depth conversation with her brother, my oldest grandson. Logan is a highly intelligent, handsome eighth grader and is in double accelerated courses in all subjects. As he sat next to me, I began to ask him about his subjects at school with math being his favorite. I knew at that moment my DNA had run aground so I began a gentle probing of the depth of his understanding of math. Over the next ten minutes I felt the breath being sucked out of my lungs at the depth, the breadth and the enthusiasm I witnessed from Logan as he answered my probes; each a bit deeper than the previous.
That conversation found its way to my retrospection gene. Through that gene and pondering last night and this morning about the aggregate implication going forward, I began to think about the challenges of Logan's generation. One cannot begin to grapple with the potentials without factoring in the fabric of the world today in which the Logans of this world are being exposed. Social media is a normal for them. Many of the Logans spent time with their parents and grandparents showing them how to do simple things on their new-fangled smart phones and probably respectfully laugh about it after. I would!
Drugs both use and trafficking are a new normal. Suicide at younger and younger ages are far less shocking thus part of the new normal. The endless wars in the Middle East and now the heavy cloud of homegrown terror, school lock downs, etc, are part of that normal. Then there is this huge elephant called National debt and student loan debt that has tentacles for many painful years. Today I watch a speech by Obama enticing college age kids to sign up for more Federal funding for education and my mind is processing who will pay for it. Free college has to equate to, for me at least, one of the stupidest ideas I have ever heard and I can say that in working heavily in college education for a decade. Who will pay? That, for me, is the question nobody wants to talk about but it will be talked about but too late.
I am sixty-eight years old and from my life and career I have been given tremendous challenges and opportunities to internalize many things from and at a global perspective. Given that insight, it is perhaps my greatest concern as to what the generation of my five grandchildren will be facing in what seems like a world, a political system gone mad for those are the infrastructural institutions and greenhouse careers, families and values.
My view today is far past the Trump / Clinton debacle, the ineptitude of our Congress, President and Supreme Court. My view is about the values and principles my five precious grand children will evolve into and from as their mid life of adulthood looms ever nearer. Abortions, drug use, same-sex marriages, LBGTQ now a powerful political faction, campaigns driven by incalculable billions of dollars, America is no longer viewed as the strategic global power it has been since World War II due in great part to this last eight years of weak presidential leadership.
My hope is that my grandchildren will have the same opportunities I did which is founded on the principle of working hard, staying focused, seeking to be the best and to beat the competition thus Winners Win and Losers Lose. I fear that that is not the mantra of this next generation for their are too many safety nets, bad examples, too many distractions and not enough strong, forward thinking teachers and parents and role models to exert influence.
The great news for me is that my five are being parented by parents that love them, lift them in prayer, invest themselves in their precious live and live God's Word in their parenting. What a blessing! I believe we all are mandated to ponder and to prayer for this next generation which will be much, much different than mine, the Baby Boomers. This new generation will make less money and generate less wealth and all previous generations in our nation's history. There is far too much laziness augmented by funded safety nets that somebody will have to pay for. Too many nations own far too much of our debt thus too much of our future. That is a major anchor to opportunities for this next generation.
I love my Logan, Noah, Isabella, Gracie and Hopie more than they will ever know but through that lvoe my concern is heavy for the world into which they will bring children, careers, etc. It is not our place as Christians to worry for we believe what our God has told us but some times it is hard not to be concerned; I am very concerned.