Recent occurrences in our world have inspired much contemplation and discussion. Personally, they have caused me to recall a time when, years ago, I associate produced a television program titled What Are We Doing to Our Children? The stress of the last election, no matter which candidate you voted for, took its toll on many people. But when we think about those affected, most of us consider only the adults that we know or hear of. Rarely do we think about how the outcome has impacted our youth. If we were to inquire with them, however, we would find a population deeply concerned not only about their own well-being but also the future of the human race and our planet.

There are many young people who seek education and enlightenment and believe in doing something about their concerns. But, sadly, there are those who remain ignorant due to a poor educational system or an impoverished lifestyle among other reasons, or lack motivation to take positive action and challenge perceived injustice. We must address this tremendous oversight, and do so quickly if we are to make positive strides regarding our collective destiny. We like to say that our children are our future, yet to a large extent previous generations and our society have left the up and coming generation ill-equipped to deal with the challenges of the 21st century. As technology continues to make our world smaller, our attitudes are becoming more divisive and exclusive. This is not lost on our young people as many of them struggle to find ways to heal and strengthen our ties to one another. A challenging quest at best in the present.

We can listen all day long to politicians and pundits argue about funding, foreign policy and national security. Important issues to be sure, but perhaps it’s also the time for a more grass-roots type of approach. We all know at least one young person, be they a relative, neighbor or friend. Why not help to educate by imparting our experiences and wisdom to them? Why not provide positive inspiration by sharing a meal, taking a walk together or buying them that textbook they need but can’t afford for school? Yes, they may or may not be receptive to your gestures, but how will you know unless you try? A kind word or deed done without expecting anything in return does wonders for the soul—yours and theirs. If each one of us makes the effort with the younger generation to lead by example, what a difference it could make. It’s very easy to find excuses not to engage at all. We are busy and lack the time or don’t have any funds to spare. But what many older adults don’t realize is that it doesn’t take very much to make a huge impact.

Each of us must take responsibility for the way things are, and do what we can to help our young people create what will be. So, there’s the challenge. How will you respond to it? By making an effort, however small, to lessen the anxiety of a younger person and help empower them to move forward in a positive way? Or will you ignore the call and then wonder why so many problems plague our society?

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

– Mark Twain

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