Today’s young people will encounter never-before-seen challenges in the years that lay ahead.
Challenges of a magnitude that Americans have not had to deal with since World War II.
The coronavirus has impacted every segment of the population during the past year, but our youth and young adults have been paying a particularly steep price.
Not in lost lives like their elders, but in lost opportunities and experiences that in the past were readily available to most young people crossing over into adulthood.
Today’s youth have missed out on school proms, graduation ceremonies, sporting events, precious time with their grandparents and distant loved ones, along with sacrificing to varying degrees the advantages and rewards of traditional in-person schooling.
They’ve have had to adapt, adjust and make do, while holding out hope that a return to some degree of our former normalcy could be near.
One positive by-product of these times is that these same young people are learning some valuable lessons not taught in the classroom.
What they are learning the hard way is that their futures rest almost solely in their hands.
Like the youth of the Great Depression and World War II, these young people will be required to step up and meet the future head on.
Therein lies the unique potential for a group of young people for whom the proverbial rug was pulled out from under them.
They will be the generation responsible for cleaning up a mess that was not of their making. They will have no recourse but to work together and with others to solve the really big problems coming down the pike.
Sooner than we realize, older Americans will become increasingly reliant on these young people to lead us out of the abyss and into a future that still offers hope, health and opportunities for our grandchildren and theirs.
It’s reasonable to acknowledge that the so-called “boomers” have essentially skated through very good times since the end of World War II.
We’ve been the beneficiaries of freedoms and rights earned and paid for by previous generations. Freedoms and rights which we have essentially inherited.
While being uniquely blessed and fortunate, some of us have lost our way; becoming increasingly self-oriented and focused more on today than tomorrow.
Today’s young people will not be so fortunate.
They will be left to deal with the myriad “real” problems that lay ahead. The kinds of problems we can’t imagine now, let alone know how to fix them.
Problems that many of us choose to avoid now and leave behind for others to resolve later. Not the least of which is the salvation of planet Earth, whose uniqueness in the galaxies becomes ever more obvious.
While many of us concern ourselves with the daily stock reports, our IRAs and accumulated wealth, millions of others struggle to make ends meet.
Some of us have forgotten our fragility and humility, and in the process have forsaken our responsibilities to future generations.
Unfortunately, it will be today’s young people who inherit the cost of our selfish ways.
Contact Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org.