Enjoy Today as Tomorrow is not Too Certain
VISITING FROM LA , our youngest son, 30, a twin ,shared some interesting thoughts about what he has observed and discussed with his peers about their future. His education behind him and student loan for his MFA from CA School of Art and Design ahead, he feels fortunate to have a challenging job, live by the beach, pay his bills and have the ability to chink away at his loans.
His twin, having completed Dental School in New Zealand and currently employed in Australia, is in the same fortunate position. They chat often using all the bells and whistles of technology. They anticipate that the future will be a steep uphill with very little chance to have a life and income as blessed as their upbringing. That upbringing with 3 older siblings, 2 brothers and a sister, was full of academic tutoring, music lessons, sports, and scouting with lots of family stuff and summer jobs mowing lawns, landscaping, their share of bumps and bruises, ups and downs but a good launch into the world of employment and life on one’s own.
He felt strongly that he wants his life and his choices to be from his own abilities and opportunities and feels that the government needs to have less say in his freedoms to follow his dreams. He stated that there is a sense of futility among many of his peers and that they as a group live for today, seek to have a work situation that they love and are not ready to settle in to just the status quo . It is truly fortunate to recognize one’s talents, pursue one’s passions and be able to find gainful employment. Uncle Sam did not get him to this point except to now expect, and rightfully so, payback for student loans.
His news and current events are found on the almost exclusively from the internet. His work day is currently 10-7, with time to get out and surf before work. His design work is for video games and advertising… both of which he creates but does not partake. His employment is contract by choice so he can work independently on other projects and keep his options open. He pays his own health and disability insurance and does not live off the system in anyway nor does he want to. The dream for an independent and fulfilling life that being an American is part and parcel of his being. Yet he and his peers feel the future holds little promise for the “better life” with more regulations and government intrusion into choices.
As a parent who was the first in her 2nd generation American family to attend college, the dreams of a better life played out. My dad was the eldest of 12, 8 boys,3 girls living in a Midwest city with 4 bedrooms and 1 bathroom who managed to complete high school before enlisting in the NAVY for WWII . Completing high school was accomplished by all 12. His mom outlived his dad as a stay at home mom/wife until she was 98, still residing in the home where he was born. Dad was very enterprising. He built upon his tooling skills learned in the South Pacific on submarine repair and became involved with auto tool and die, and then a business partner. In the ‘60’s he built a thriving company that went public in the late ‘70’s. My 4 siblings were also given the opportunity of higher education and have set a great example of achievement.
We were blessed by the opportunity to work hard and thrive in a free enterprise environment that rewarded hard work and ingenuity. We were assisted through our 4 years of college and then expected to have profitable careers. The 5 of us were able to add to our education credits with work, private loans and business incentives from companies that we worked for. Dad, a ‘greatest Generation ‘ achiever ,though a man of few words , set an example that was sometimes tough to follow and live up to but sure gave us all a “leg up” example for living out what he embraced so thoroughly as American opportunity and became for him and us The American Dream.
My parents were youngsters in the last Great Depression, endured the Great War and were part and parcel of the recovery that built us into the great nation that we have become. From air travel to space travel to high speed internet, technological advances and amazing medical discoveries, their lives were blessed in so many, many ways, and therefore ours as well. Both Dad and Mom, Grandparents of our adult children worked hard to build on the foundation of American will to achieve and prosper.
Their efforts have not been in vain and a hopeful future lies now in the hands of those young generations who can respond to the echoes of the strengths of their past and the strengths of their own future choices. Let’s embrace those uphill challenges to preserve out freedoms and exercise our excellence for the future and beyond.