2016: The Year of Our Children

I watched my grandson select just the right-sized rocks to form the numbers 2-0-1-6. It has become our way to welcome the New Year. But this time I had more foreboding about the year ahead—about his future too. 

Grandchildren are a blessing, but they are a reminder about the nation’s issues they’ll inherit. The issues my generation helped perpetuate. Sobering thought.

So as we begin a new year, here’s my prediction: 2016 will change America.

Be ready to be a change maker. Here are some ways:

If you’re 18, register to vote. Get informed. Don’t just listen to the pundits or get your news from some late night comedian. Read real economic reports. It’s grim. 

When you vote for a candidate promising terrific programs, remember the cost. America needs money to pay for everything we offer. We’re terribly debt-ridden. Each child already owes $58,000. That’s insane.

Everyone can help someone. Volunteer. It’s something I saw my parents and grandparents do. Our local civic clubs need members. They fund efforts to help our communities. 

Many of these organizations are eroding for lack of membership. Kids used to see many adults donating time. Now it falls to fewer people to do more work.

Our churches also need congregations desiring to serve. This is something my grandparents accepted without question, and my parents did fairly well, but my generation has been less inclined to roll up our sleeves. 

And now, we have a younger generation that has many more options to be distracted.  Americans seem more inclined than ever before to eliminate church from their lives. How will that impact our kids? On what basis should they decide the right way to live?

Our nation’s kids need interested parents and communities. Children need volunteers to coach, tutor, inspire, encourage, and be fans in the stands for the kids who have invested their time in sports. 

We expect a lot from our kids. Global competition doesn’t begin at graduation; it begins in our elementary schools as kids must learn more to keep pace. They could use our help and encouragement.

So as we begin 2016, look at that calendar with the open spaces and allow some of those hours to be given away—to the children—to our hope—to our future.

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