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to the Editor
“And a Child Shall Lead Them”
posted November 24, 2008
Who could have ever determined the current economic state of affairs
for the United States and the rest of the world? When you find
any one of the four or 5 people who predicted this economic downturn,
please do me a favor and ask them what this means to the Young
World. Or better yet, can someone please answer this question for
me on behalf of the Young World, “How will today’s economy impact the
Immediately, the attention turns to Christmas, gifts and holiday
surprises. But way beyond the next couple of months, what will
come of this up and down, topsy-turvy financial market?
Considering the short term, Christmas will still be Christmas.
Perhaps the uncertainty of the market, job insecurities and faltering
family finances will cause a sense of renewal about the true essence of
Christmas – that’s not necessarily a bad thing! Maybe, just
maybe, a few young people won’t have quite the bountiful harvest of
presents that they’ve enjoyed in past years. There will most
likely be a few young people expecting nothing this Christmas; but the
true kindness of our community will shine through.
For the sake of this discussion, let’s just say that the short term
picture is more about what “things” the Young World will be getting or
not as a result of the unpredictable economy and job market. And,
let’s face it, for MANY young people, that is saying quite a mouthful.
Is it possible that WE (when it’s capitalized, that means everybody),
can determine a long-term impact of today’s economy on the Young
World? In five years, what will a retrospective look at 2008 mean
for the high school graduating class of 2009? Five years from
now, many of the current year’s seniors will be graduating from college
with an undergraduate degree and thousands of dollars in student loan
debt. Will the activity of 2008 negatively or positively impact
the Class of 2009’s ability to find a job or secure sufficient funds to
matriculate toward a college degree?
Five years from now, will current 8th grade students change their minds
about college plans because of skyrocketing school sums? Five
years from now, should current fifth graders even expect the joy and
jubilation that should come with their “first job”?
It is very difficult for the Young World to look forward five years, or
ten years. Many adults can’t properly articulate a personal “Five
Year Plan”. Given the difficulty of planning and preparing for
the next five or ten years in prosperous times, it is even more
essential that time is tediously taken to trace a trail that creates
opportunity for the Young World.
The Young World absolutely must learn from the current state of affairs
to be aware of alternative solutions, should we ever find ourselves
here again; even better, an enlightened Young World may even be able to
avoid this type of situation when they assume the leadership roles.
Who knows? Maybe a resurgence from this recession may create an
unexpectedly positive effect. Quite possibly, colleges may begin
to compete heavily for good students and provide more incentives, like
reduced tuition, more scholarships, 3 year degree programs, etc.
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