In my last two blog posts, I’ve attempted to sound a warning about the potential crisis of Generation Y, because of their gigantic population. They will be the largest generation in modern history. In past gigantic generations, violence has followed. Big time violence, due to the fact that the economy could not sustain so many young people entering the adult world. They have not had a healthy place to find expression.
So, what can we do as adults? How do we respond as individuals?
Regardless of what we think about the intelligence, emotional maturity or even the leadership skills of iY young people, they will impact the world for the mere reason of their numbers. We cannot ignore them. We cannot pretend they won’t affect our future.
If we’re serious about transforming the world, we have to be serious about investing in this next generation. What we do today as adults will no doubt determine who they will become as adults.
I believe the greatest investment I can make — as someone who cares about the future of the world — is to equip a young person to think and act like a leader. It is not enough that we have nice kids. We must build a generation of kids who possess vision, who plan well, who set healthy priorities, and who practice good people skills — men and women who know how to lead the way.
I also believe this is not just an economic issue or a social issue, but also a spiritual one. We need leaders who lead from their hearts, not just their heads, their wallets or their political ambition. I hunger to see leaders whose vision is for a future well beyond their lifetime. I want to see a new generation of leaders whose faith guides them and gives them courage to stand for what is right, even in the face of great risk.
* In government, this means they are statesmen, not politicians.
* In education, this means they are mentors, not just faculty members.
* In business, this means they are philanthropists, not just capitalists.
I challenge you to join us at Growing Leaders to invest in this next generation.
Become a mentor for at least one young person, if not a community of young people who desperately need someone to show them the way. I urge you to:
• Find a time. (It won’t happen if you don’t plan a regular time to meet.)
• Find a team. (I must choose the students with whom I wish to connect.)
• Find a tool. (I must decide what resources will guide me.)
Remember, we cannot do anything about our ancestors, but we can do something about our descendants.
My new book, Generation iY: Our Last Chance to Save Their Future, arrives next week. In it, I prescribe a game plan to prepare this huge generation to lead the way into the future.