I HAVE SEEN THE FUTURE – AND I LIKE WHAT I SEE

Posted: July 31, 2016 in Uncategorized
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We in America seem to characterize, segmentise and compartmentalize data.  This will then place specific aspects of life into neat packages that makes it easy to understand different characteristics of life.  In politics we are segmented by party and then we break that into smaller groups by declaring a person to be conservative or liberal.  This segmentation helps us to take vast amounts of information and then process this information with smaller bite sized chunks.

We have broken down various generations and categorized them by their accomplishment to society or some other social aspect associated to that age group.  The Greatest Generation was stamped on the age group that went to World War II and came back to build a country that put a man on the moon.  The baby boomers represented the children of the Greatest Generation and characterized the explosion of the population from parents that wanted to place the horrors of the war behind them and grow a large family unit.   Today we have the Millennials, the young adults that were born around the time of the turn of the century, the millennium.  On occasion this generation has been characterized as being couch potatoes, computer nerds with no interest toward society and a group more interested in games than reality.  I am here to tell you that while this may be the perception, it could not be further from reality.

The company I work for has an intern program.  This program allows young men and women who are in college to join the company for ten weeks, learn about the company while at the same time performing legitimate work; not just observing the work.  I was fortunate enough to have been assigned as a mentor to a young intern and while I was to teach a young lady basic aspects of Project Management, I question who got the most from the experience.

We had college students from around the country visiting Monroe.   Some were international students from afar away as Nepal and India.  Several misconceptions were dispelled.  This generation is anything but couch potatoes.  At the end of the internship program twenty of the participants presented to members of the company their personal experiences while sharing who they were and thus gave a glimpse into their lifestyles.  Many related to an active life.  Picture of this lifestyle were shown and one of the two interns from Farmerville flashed a picture with his girlfriend wearing camouflage while she was holding up the six point buck that she had just bagged.  One intern from Bangladesh that was attending ULM and majoring in Computer Science told of his interests with literature, history and enjoyed performing as a standup comic.  This generation is not the couch potato slugs that some have attached to this age group.

The internship had a unique requirement to give back to the community and the interns were all involved in some type of community project.  Instead of reluctantly going into this endeavor, they embraced it.  My intern selected visiting the Veterans Home and sharing time with our vets.  She was happy to tell us that she had never played dominos but did so with an aging vet, beat him and he demanded that she come back for a rematch.  The Greatest Generation meets the Millennials and the fit was good.

What I really took away from the experience was the quick wit, caring personality and zest for life that these young men and women exuded.   The materialistic drive that the baby boomers possessed did not appear to be at the front of desires for this generation and I find that refreshing.  Experiences and adventures seemed to be a major driver for the millennials.

While I got a look at our newest generation I learned a new phenomenon that has exploded across the nation; has been a primary question at quarterly calls of major corporations such as Apple and connects millennials with their parents for an evening of sharing fun and will ultimately have a major impact on our society while it gets participants out the door moving around their towns; I was introduced to Pokémon.  This has to be one of the most ingenious games developed since Monopoly hits the markets in 1902.

I have had a glimpse of the future of our country and I see a future that eclipses the gloom and doom that we see portrayed on television news today.  I see a generation that will ignore the status que and naysayers and break down walls and lead our great nation forward.  I have seen the future and I like what I have seen.

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