Sunday, September 8, 2013
The Younger Generation
I often hear people talk about the problems of the “younger generation.” In my case, people younger than me comprise a pretty large swath of society, but usually folks are talking about teens and young adults under 30. It is easy to see that there are young people with problems. In fact, the news sometimes seems like a constant stream of depressing facts. However, you must remember that these things are news because they are NOT the norm. The truth is there are many fine young people going about their business in spite of hardships and challenges and doing quite well. For every story you read about a high profile athlete doing something despicable, remember there are thousands of high school and college athletes – most who are getting an education and working hard at their athletic pursuits. In fact, the NCAA says there are 430,000 student athletes currently in colleges affiliated with the NCAA. A little closer to home for those of us in trades education, more than 300,000 students join Skills USA annually. There are 5900 contestants taking part each year at the national competition. Then there are thousands more students who participate in state and local competitions. When you add up the students participating in bands, orchestras, choruses, theatre, and a host of other extracurricular activities the numbers run into the millions. That is millions of young people who not only do what is expected – but go beyond to build skill in an area that of special interest to them. Because I have a son in high school, I have had the opportunity to meet a many of these young people personally, and I am encouraged by what I see. So if you have had an overdose of news or too much “reality” TV, check out the Skills USA magazine Champions for some encouraging news about impressive young people excelling.