The Amazing New Generation
BY JOHN BERNARD
As I sit on a plane flying to my daughter Ashley’s graduation in Indiana, I cannot help but reflect back on my daughter’s life that brought her to this point. Yet, in the same thought I look forward with a great deal of optimism.
I am optimistic because Ashley, like her much-maligned generation, has a soul. They are passionate about making the world a better place and refuse to simply look the other way at injustice and irresponsibility.
Ashley, I know, is the best of the generation (fatherly pride showing through here), but her recognition that all is not right in our world is the difference any given generation has between those who lead and those who follow. Ashley will lead her generation to solve the problems my generation has created.
It’s not fun to talk about this nation’s declining stature sparked by a deficit in excess of $15 trillion – some $138,000 per tax paying citizen. It’s not fun to talk about our horrific relative global stature in math scores – falling below Estonia, Slovenia, Slovak Republic, and Czech Republic – not to mention another 15 countries everyone of us can find on the map. No one likes to talk about our dependence on oil from countries who despise us.
This next generation of leaders, like Ashley, definitely has their work cut out for them.
Ashley is graduating from Notre Dame with an MBA in Marketing and Corporate Social Responsibility. Ashley believes in business and she believes that business leaders have to be responsible to the greater good.
Ashley’s sense of social responsibility started when our family began recycling years before it was a common practice. In fact, I built a little recycling center in our garage. In those days we had to separate all the different items and then load them up and haul them to a recycling center. My older daughters still remember the regular and repeated lessons in the garage on what went into which bin — because they as young children weren’t much into the details.
Yes, we laugh at those old stories and I know we will as we all gather in Indiana to celebrate Ashley’s accomplishments and commitments.
Because this generation has a soul and cares deeply about improving the world, we need to encourage and support them. They have a lot of work ahead of them and we need strong committed leaders like Ashley to get this nation back on the right path.