Tuesday, August 27, 2013

We Must Do Better than the Status Quo for America's Youth

You need to watch this video. It is great beyond the point of this blog post. Enterprising Lad Living Life wth No Arms

Richie Parker is truly exceptional, but I think- and I might be all wet here- and I certainly do not want to denigrate Richie in any way- but I see two critical factors aiding his remarkable abilities.

1. This was the situation he was born into... arms were never in his tool kit.
2. He had supportive parents all along the way.

Richie never knew arms. His entire life has been a challenge to overcome no arms. He learned courage and creative problem solving every day he was growing up. His parents supported him everyday. They taught him self reliance. My description here pales at the real story, which I do not know. I can just judge from the results. Richie did not do this on his own, but he certainly played a key role, with a great attitude always. I hope you did not skip the video- Richie really is extraordinary.

Now, imagine if by some bizarre accident or misdeed, you were without arms right now for the rest of your life. I am going to look at this through my own eyes. I am no longer young, and I am not particularly flexible. I've got big  feet, with long toes- BUT I either don't have the patience to start making them learn, or I have lost the flexibility to do it.

We have a world full of challenges today, and one of them is the power of the status quo.  If you have been around a number of years, you have a mind set on how things should be going- you have a daily ritual that fills your day,you have responsibilities  you face, and habits you cater to.  Most of us rather live in a box with a set of attitudes that flavor how we see things.  We are more like Stu when something serious arises. We need to be more like Richie. We need to be more like the youth of America.

So issues like robust economic growth, sustainable energy sources,  and climate change, and pollution damaging the biosphere diversity, drug wars, and social justice- among many others- require attention, and free thought unfreighted by experience. Change requires action and energy and passion. These are the strengths off youth. Young eyes to see the world as it is, and to imagine how things can be done differently.

It is essential then that we give young people the support they need to pursue education and their dreams. This is the legacy- the care and attention- the nurturing process that we are leaving them, not the bogus threat of a dunning notice for the nation's debt.  We really have to get over our false notions of the nation's wealth and what we can afford to do.  LINK

Success in today's world requires more education and learning than ever. There is more knowledge to synthesize than ever, yet support for public schools and colleges and universities have been neglected all across America throughout the last decades, and more of the cost is being shifted to the student through hikes in tuition. This is wrong headed, short sighted, and damaging to the interests of America.

We are better off when we are enhancing the toolbox available to young people. We need strong economic growth and new opportunity for youth. The world has changed, and we have to find new ways to success. Lets get out of the way, and support youth. They are our only hope for fixing stuff that we have screwed up in the world.

The world we are participating in right now- is not sustainable. We need to change direction. Our youth will be providing the path forward, when the rest of us- no matter how big our personal fortune- will be depending on others- for personal care.  Oh, and there is only one alternative to getting old and more dependent.

We are not doing favors for youth- nurturing them, supporting them with easy access to education, and paths to opportunity. It is in our own best interests, and the long term interests of the United States, and in the interest of every person in America that is getting older every day.

Feel free to add your 2 cents below.


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