Young People

 

I love young people. I love to talk with them and hear of their exploits. Their dreams. Their frustrations. I try not to get “well in my day” with them. Their day and my day are not the same.

This older generation has done well. We have made money and built empires to be admired…sort of. Some of us are retiring with grace and new ambitions. Some are just retiring.

The “Royal Marriage” was really enjoyable in spots. I had the feeling they were really quite normal in their own way. Or as much as they could be. I couldn’t help but compare them to Charles, Camilla and the Queen Bee. The younger set was relaxed, open and not too staged. Not full of themselves.

The young people of today seem somewhat determined to do it their way. Maybe not 80 hour weeks. Maybe not time away from the family. Maybe not the big house and fast cars. Maybe, just maybe, it is for the better.

Kathy and I went to a couple of cocktail parties over Christmas. Just neighbors. But what a treasure trove of young people and ideas.

There was a young man who was getting his doctorate in biomedical engineering from MIT. We had a lot in common. Right! Then there was a young lady who was working for a non profit in DC trying to foster woman’s entrepenuership in Africa.

There was a student at Oxford studying journalism, who had recently attended the London School of Economics and wrote for the Economist. How about a lad attending the War College who hoped to go on to either the Navy or FBI ? His sister was doing a semester in Kenya and Tanzania while studying Swahili.

Just local folk. Yes, most of the time I just asked questions and listened. None of them talked of the stock market. Somehow their golf game was never part of the equation. They were on fire and I loved it.

My daughter Lindsey gave birth to her second child a short while ago. All of the grandkids came over for Padge’s birthday. You wonder what the world will be like for them? At first I was concerned my kids would not have the wealth and lifestyle we enjoy. Then I thought, maybe they don’t want it.

Denver is sheltered nicely in the Rockies just far enough away from the East and Left Coast. An old friend and I were talking at lunch a few weeks ago. The nice part of our fair city is you don’t need a pedigree. Who cares where you went to school? Just put your nose to the grind stone. Then we will find out who you are.

I think that is the great part of today. Kids are asking why rather than falling into lockstep on the path to success. Are they futzing with a time honored formula? You bet they are. They are even inventing new ones.

I enjoy the “Young Guns” in Congress. Ryan, Cantor, McCarthy. I don’t care about their ideology. They are at least willing to try to get things done. At this point in our history we need statespeople. We need leaders to make tough decisions. We need to meet our problems head on. Us old farts aren’t very good at that. We study it and will get back to you later.

Look at Libya, Egypt, Baharain, Syria. Sure it is economic at its base. But it is also the next generation saying “we are not going along with the old way of thinking.” There has got to be a better way. They are willing to die for it. I couldn’t agree more.

As a junior at Georgetown I was working for the summer at the Hotel Corp. Of America. They owned the Plaza and it was headquarters for sales and reservations. After answering phones for a week, my boss and great friend Jack Neumann called from Boston. He asked how things were going? Okay, I said but I thought there could be changes for the better in reservations.

He had me fly to Boston that weekend with my ideas. On Sunday afternoon he put me on the plane and said “Do it!” Flabbergasted and an little unsure, I did. And it worked out great. He gave me enough rope to hang myself or make myself. I will never forget that.

As we celebrate OSL moving on, I have to think again of young people. I lost relatives, friends and business associates in 9/11. Twenty one in all. I had given three of them their first hires on Wall Street. Most of them were just young aspiring traders, dads and husbands. It is not only a tragedy of life but also the world. Lives simply unfulfilled.

To the young of our fair nation and globe, I say Go for it! To the powers that be I say, move over. You’ve done your thing. Give them a chance. It is time for some fresh ideas. They will do just fine.

As always,

Ted The Great

Factoid: Women are 49.76% of the world population. There are 250,000,000 more men in China than women. Women are almost 60% of the current college ranks. I will let you form your own conclusions.

 

 

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