No matter where I travel within the US, I’m always a bit awestruck, not only by the great variety of beautiful, natural landscapes that surround us but also by the great accomplishments of those who built the amazing roads, bridges, farms, buildings and other landmarks of our culture. Because of them, we enjoy a standard of living unimaginable by any past generation and by a huge portion of the world’s current generation.
Last summer (2013), Lori and I traveled with some of our kids and grandkids to southern California for a few days of R&R. As we drove south on I-15 and the Las Vegas skyline came into view, and then again as we descended from El Cajon pass into the vast development of southern California, I thought of fortunes won and lost as truly courageous pioneers built all that we now take for granted. When we arrived at our destination, the weather, the beaches, the shopping, and the parks were a delight. At one moment as I watched the grandkids blissfully building sand castles on the beach, I wondered what great things they might add to our legacy.
Progress does not happen without the freedom to try new things. It also doesn’t happen without preparation, courage, and ambition. And finally, it doesn’t happen without mistakes being made. We just need to be clear that it isn’t so much the mistakes that matter. What matters is that we correct our errors and continue to move toward the worthy goal.
So again, as I watched my grandchildren, I asked myself what we, the adults of this world, are doing to insure that they have the same opportunities that we and our forefathers enjoyed. What are we doing to teach and train the next generation – technically, physically and emotionally? Are we giving them the tools and knowledge they need to move forward? Are we imparting to them the sense of courage and ambition that will be needed? Are we teaching them to be honest and moral, to lead, to deal with setbacks and to be positive?
I am impressed by the knowledge, abilities and wisdom of my grandchildren. They seem so much more intelligent and independent in their thinking than I remember being at their age. And I don’t think that is unique to my grandkids. Think of it! What a great opportunity we have. If we can pass on the freedoms we’ve enjoyed, impart the lessons we’ve learned and help them on their way, I predict that the greatest era of this earth still lies ahead of us. I hope I can help and then live long enough to see it unfold.