Show Us the Way
By Lisa M. Burwell
Everyone has differing opinions on what living their best life looks like. Some want to experience all the world has to offer—to live a nomadic life, free of the encumbrances that come with growing roots in one place. At the risk of making a blanket statement, this seems to be the lifestyle to which many millennials and younger generations subscribe. And, to some degree, they have proven that such a lifestyle is actually possible.
Creating a better way of life is an aspiration shared by all emerging generations. I’ve given this a lot of thought, having recognized the desires of, and the choices made, by these young adults who, in a nutshell, don’t want to play by the same rules their parents did. I am thrilled by the fact that wireless communications allow them to work from practically anywhere in the world, affording them more flexibility in choosing their work terms. When I started my career, such options were not available to me—that wasn’t how the world worked then. These new age torchbearers are living their best lives, and I applaud their courage to conquer whatever they set their minds to. Thankfully, not all are globetrotters and some do remain planted, but they nevertheless are doggedly reshaping the status quo.
If you haven’t yet received the memo, the definition of the American Dream has been thoroughly redefined. It used to mean putting in twenty years with a large company while supporting a family and a suburban home, and then retiring with a pension to enjoy the golden years. With the advent of the internet, the wealth of knowledge and information is no longer relegated to a select few but is now available to anyone with a web browser. Hence, the American Dream seems to belong to the people with the ideas—the ones who can successfully get the proverbial spaghetti to stick to the wall. So, I challenge the younger generation to be the champions of change: show the world your passion, creative energy, and heartfelt desires. As we strive to cope with and better understand this ever-changing world, new ideas about well-being have spread across all generations. Over the past decade, these ideas have manifested through immense changes in our food, health, and environmental industries. Our youth seem to possess in their very DNA a global consciousness for preserving our environment, a need to be philanthropic, and a desire to be generous, all with the common goal of making the world a better place.
What I am trying to say is that I marvel at our country’s youth and what they are capable of. Sadly, our nation is facing unprecedented gun violence issues; the problem has crept into every sector of our lives: work, schools, places of worship, and leisure outlets like stores and concerts. Our youth are being forced to watch classmates and loved ones brutally gunned down in the prime of their lives. A groundswell of outrage that this cannot and will not continue is growing within them, as they have the passion and discipline to resolve what the older generations, unfortunately, continue to turn a blind eye to. Our nation stands on a legacy of courageous and righteous ancestors, and there is no reason for its citizens to be held ransom by fear of violence.
When I am in my home, I often think of it as a refuge from the outside world, a place where I find rest and safety. And I think of my community as an extension of my home, a place where I worship, conduct business, exercise, shop, and attend concerts. It’s a beautiful slice of paradise on the Gulf of Mexico in Northwest Florida with a vibrant sense of community and very little concern of crime. It’s a good life—one that I am very thankful to have. I pray for this nation to embrace a powerful desire to end this senseless violence so that every American can enjoy the same peace and safety.
To a Better Life!
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