As a Career Planning Mentor working with high school and college students, frequently I am reminded how little of the world I understood as a student, how confusing it was trying to sort out what my place was in the ‘things of the world’, and how much I would have enjoyed having a mentor to help me think through the who I am (was) and what my future could be.
This blog is devoted to a venting/or rather a blurbbling of the myriad aspects of what our children are confronted with, and possible paths that they can follow to get to where they need/want to be as their lives unfold. An 18 year old today can reasonably expect to be around in 2085. What will that world look like and what will she or he have had to manage in those 72 years between now and then ??
We all want to believe that our futures can be bright, happy and full of opportunity. Our Futures – meaning not just what happens to us as individuals but also to our world and the world of the people we care for, and that of those who share the remarkable experience of our common existence. The future however is what it is, the future, mostly unknowable in any empirical sense, and in any assured outcomes.
Certainly, we in Western societies have worked hard in the past centuries, to create a civil society that reduces physical risks and offers more opportunity, and thus time to think about purpose and merit and human values of shared goals. But with this remarkable freedom has come responsibility – to assure the same freedom and liberties to our children’s and their children. Certainly, as a child of the 60’s, a “Woodstock” hipster, the vision seemed bright in my world, “the golden city on the hill”- a real possibility.
But that vision has eroded during the past 40+ years. So concerned for protecting the Environment, So concerned for broadening fairness and liberty globally, So sure of a brave new world…. So sure We were……
Our children are now the inheritors of a chaos equally as difficult as what we so vocally revolted against in our day (military-industrial complex for one and political corruption and abuse of power for others), but now far more complex b/c of the infinitely more globally interwoven world – charged with factions magnified by technologies fluid angry discourse, a dis-equilibium in the global Environment, and a dramatic shift in economic and political structures. The irony of it all is just so absurd and embarrassing.
Even with all of this, the human capacity to adapt and repair has been tested many times. Our children and their children will need thoughtful help in managing and preparing for the dramatic changes ahead. Thoughtful, cool heads, civil discourse and earnest collaboration, and an anthropologist’s eye will be essential to help repair the damage our generation has thoughtlessly wrought on the world and unleashed on our children.
For starters, the “Me First” will have to change to “Us Together”.