Saturday, July 8, 2017

STAYING FOCUSED

Welcome to Hell protest in Hamburg

Quote from "A Big Life in Advertising" by Mary Wells Lawrence." ...but in the sixties and early seventies, you had to work a little harder to stay focused, so many large questions had been let loose--protest, authority, war, death, civil rights, women's rights, freedom, individuality."

Today, for very different reasons, I think it's also hard for young people to stay focused because every time they do something good that should be rewarded with approval, kudos, success and money, some greedy government bureaucrat sucks up the profits and then shakes a finger at them, telling them that they're spoiling the environment, or hurting some body who's different from them, or ruining the world somehow.

It's hard for young people to know what's right and what's wrong. It's hard to know what you can throw your energies into with a good conscience. It's hard to feel good about any success you may contribute to, because there is always somebody in government or the media who's got some long story to make you feel ashamed of feeling good.

It's an appalling situation, confusing, befuddling, enervating and really pretty tragic for young people. It creates a kind of malaise of the mind, which, combined with the strange antics of the haters burning up everything, leads to hopelessness and chaos. What a miasma of despair these young people have been macerating in for their whole lives!

Nobody is born knowing who they are. It takes lots of time and experience to begin to develop character and ideas about the big themes of life. What have our young people learned recently except that effort is futile and anger is exciting? If they don't trust that Trump can change things, it's because they have been carefully schooled not to trust themselves and their judgement. It's pretty bleak.

As the song says we must "Accentuate the positive, Eliminate the negative, and latch on to the affirmative, don't mess with Mister In-Between." (Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer)

Our young people are the future. If we don't capture their hearts and minds, we've lost everything.

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