The Youth Population Is Doing “Swell”

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The greatest investment we can make as adults is to equip a young person to think and act like a leader.

I just read the numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau. The population of kids worldwide from birth to college age is 2,987,230,232. In case this number represents too many digits for you — that’s nearly three billion people. It’s about half of the world’s population. There is a worldwide swelling of young people. In China and India (the two largest nations in the world), the average age of a citizen is mid-twenties. So, while a huge generation is retiring in the U.S., a huge generation is just getting started around the rest of the world.

So, here’s where we stand. We have a gigantic retiring generation wanting to rest. We also have a gigantic young generation yearning to influence the world around them. If we could only get these two together — and enable the older, established generation to somehow give back to the younger generation, we might just address some of this dilemma I bring up in this blog post.

The Wisest Investment You Can Make

That’s why I believe the greatest investment I can make (as a Baby Boomer) 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 kids that possess vision, that plan well, that set healthy priorities, and that practice good people skills. I call this leadership. I also believe this is not just an economic issue or a social issue. It is a spiritual issue. We need leaders who lead from their heart, not just their head or their wallet or for their own political gain. 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 act in the face of great risk when it’s right. 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 — who work to merely build a bigger 401K for themselves.

I challenge you to join me in investing in this next generation of leaders. Become a mentor for at least one, if not a community of students, who desperately need a mentor:

Find a Time (It wont’ happen if you don’t plan a time each week to meet.)

Find a Team (Next, choose the students with whom you wish to connect.)

Find a Tool (Then, decide what resource — book or study — will guide you.)

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