There is hope

A number of years ago we sat through a personality test seminar at a print owner’s conference in Chicago.

The facilitator put a series of questions up on the screen to get the audience warmed up. By the end of the session we would know what our personality traits were and how to interact with different generations of workers.

As he waded through the list, participants started nodding their heads in agreement. Every single question led closer and closer to defining the then current generation – at that time it was millennials. From sleeping in, to rebelling against authority to listening to music loudly to a doubtful future lying ahead – it was one tick mark after the other against the category we were trying to define.

What seemed a very easy exercise was turned on its head when the meeting coach told us the questions were actually part of a survey from the 1960s. Then the questions seemed to make more sense.

Judging the next generation seems to be a pastime for many people. Judging their use of time, choice in music and recreation, financial savvy, etc. – it’s something so easy to engage in.

This past week however, many of our worries for the future and the next generation seemed to subside. In fact we saw a glimmer of hope.

Out of the tragedy that befell students in Parkland, Florida, numerous students participated in rallies and public speaking opportunities. These kids were well spoken, articulate and have a message that adults shouldn’t dismiss out of hand.

The gun culture that is so pervasive in the United States of America is something Canadians don’t really understand. The voracious appetite for the Second Amendment, which grants Americans the right to keep and bear arms, is very real.

Real enough that President Donald Trump floated the idea of arming teachers as a better solution than banning gun ownership for people that really shouldn’t have access to guns. It’s a quagmire.

Older generations tend to suffer from the attitude that “it’s always been that way” and fight change “just because.”

With the current state of affairs, we see little wrong with opening people’s eyes to some new ideas.

This new generation, capable of researching like never before, generating publicity in ways never before imagined and able to easily mobilize like no other time in history, has the ability to effect change.

If it saves a life, or improves the quality of life for others, listening will have been worth it.

We see hope with this new generation.