Saturday, November 28, 2009

Lost Generation

I received this video from a friend and knew right away I had to post it. We have all heard how the current generation is lost with no hope for the future; and how they are apathetic, shiftless, misguided and lack motivation.

In previous posts, I have given examples of young people who do not fit that stereotype like Dalton Sherman, Severn Suzuki, Quinn Sullivan, Oscar Pistorius and others. Now, I want to share a very creative video that was created by another young person from this so-called Lost Generation. Jonathan Reed created this for AARP's U@50 Video Challenge in 2007. Recently, it has gone viral on YouTube and yesterday it went over seven million views!

Check out this creative prose:

It won second place; and after watching the winner When I'm 50, I have to ask, "Who was judging this contest?" I think they got it backwards!

Personally, I have friends like Eric Chester and Earl Hipp who are working with adults and youth in their own way to help transition this generation into adulthood. I also serve on the board of directors of a small non-profit organization entitled Elpis Enterprises. We are doing our own tiny bit of mentoring a few inner-city youth as they struggle to find their way in this ever-challenging world.

If you are an adult, are you doing anything to help the youth in your community? If you are, that's great! Good for you. If you are a teenager or young twenty-something, are you doing anything to procure and work with a mentor(s)?
If you are, what are you up to?

I would like to hear what you are doing. Please feel free to share.

Thank you in advance!



Saturday, November 21, 2009

It's Up Time America!

Once again, my post just fell in my lap. A friend sent me this video the other day of keynote speaker Kimberly Alyn. It is a three-minute, high-energy flurry of her ideas of what we ought to be doing to make a difference in the world today. She makes a great point about personal responsibility and we are the ones in charge of our own destiny.

I find her energy contagious! If you like the video, you can learn more about her at her two websites by clicking here and here. Her other videos are full of good material as well. But, in my mind, they do not compare to this:

What do you think? Is she right? I think she hits it out of the park! Do you find yourself in any one of her "Up Time" situations? I certainly do. I believe we can all learn from her quick, little lesson.

I look forward to your comments.



Sunday, November 15, 2009

Jack Rushton Rocks!

I often do a considerable amount of research to find material for a post, and other times, friends simply send me things from which I get ideas to expand upon that I think you will appreciate and hopefully even learn something. This is one from the latter category.

Five years ago, I met a young man at the Virginia Youth Leadership Forum by the name of Matthew Deans. He has an incomplete spinal cord injury and functions at a very high level. I saw him every year when I went to speak at YLF and we have developed a great friendship.

So, as one of my Facebook friends, he sent me this video several days ago with a note that simply read, "Saw this and thought of you." I want to share this video with you, and see if anyone thinks of me while watching it:

I love Jack's self-depricating humor! I appreciate his attitude and his outlook on life. I found this great article on Jack and how twenty years of living as a ventilator-dependant quadriplegic has affected his life and the lives of the people around him. I cannot relate to the ventilator part, but I certainly relate to the rest! You can read it by clicking here.

From what I can find, his health has not been very good recently. If you would like to read some of his interesting and often humorous observations, go to his blog by clicking here.

Jack certainly is correct when he says, "It's good to be alive."

My dad always used to add to that statement by saying, "It beats the alternative."

I look forward to your comments.



Sunday, November 8, 2009

I Hate The Word "Hate"

One word I have come to despise these last several years is HATE! It seems to be used more and more all the time. It bothers me to the point where I am very conscious about how I use it. I do not use it much any more, and when I do, I stop to check myself and ask, "Do I really hate that?"

It gets thrown around everywhere and I wonder if we really think about just what it means?

According to, hate is defined as:

–verb (used with object)
1. to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest: to hate the enemy; to hate bigotry.
2. to be unwilling; dislike: I hate to do it.
–verb (used without object)
3. to feel intense dislike, or extreme aversion or hostility.
4. intense dislike; extreme aversion or hostility.
5. the object of extreme aversion or hostility.

It is the hostility part that bothers me. We saw it demonstrated again in Fort Hood just last Thursday. Almost immediately, the hate mongers came out and started in on how they hate all Muslims. Did we hear the same screams of hatred towards all Christians when Timothy McVeigh bombed the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995? If we did, I don't remember it. (On a side note: he wrote a letter telling why he did it. You can read it by clicking here. I found it interesting he sent the letter to Fox News which was published almost six years to the day he bombed the building.)

If you ever have an opportunity to stand on a school playground for any length of time, just listen to the children tell each other how they hate another child because of something they may or may not have said or done. Have you ever had your sweet, little seven-year-old daughter say, "I hate vegetables!" Where did she learn to hate anything?

Is hate a learned emotion? Are we born to hate, or do we learn to hate from the people around us?

Have you ever heard yourself say, "I hate this traffic," or "I hate rainy days," or "I hate the Packers and the Yankees"? Do you really hate or are you just frustrated because you are inconvenienced or disappointed your team lost? Even former President George H.W. Bush said he hated broccoli.

Personally, there are things I hate. I hate war, violence, cancer, poverty, homelessness and racism — to name just a few. I have a much longer list of things I dislike. (He said with tongue firmly planted in cheek.)

Confucius said, "Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny."

Are we becoming, or are we already a country of hate? If we are, what can we do to turn it around, or is it a lost cause?

I look forward to your comments.