From My Youth…

Colorado Vac - Rod w/Dick FitchThis is a digital reproduction of a picture I took almost forty years ago. I had a lot of energy in my youth and it took it all to hike up to the 12,000 feet level on top the Rocky Mountains in Colorado to the campsite. It was well worth the trip just to take this picture and include it in my life’s memories. And the view of the night sky was awesome, I have never seen it so full before or after.

The Knowledge Economy….

In a Washington Post Op-Ed piece Wednesday, co-founder Mr. Zuckerberg wrote that today’s “economy is based primarily on knowledge and ideas – resources that are renewable…. In a knowledge economy, the most important resources are talented people.”

Beyond helping to nudge the current debate, according to a statement released on Wednesday, the group’s goal is to “organize and engage the tech community in the issues where we can contribute to the national debate, on issues of vital importance to America’s ability to compete in the global knowledge economy.”…

The country does not have enough skilled workers to fill industry’s needs, he says, and it sorely needs a more sensible approach to keeping America competitive. “Silicon Valley can play an important role in getting that message out,” he says, “because small individuals or companies cannot get that message out, but a company like Apple or Microsoft can be heard.”

Source: Immigration reform: Can Mark Zuckerberg and friends deliver? –

Although my quote above doesn’t indicate it, the article above is primarily about how Silicon Valley has come out in the immigration debates. They indicate that there are simply not enough of our youth that have the desire, or maybe opportunity, to get an advanced education to fill the needs of a “Knowledge Economy”. So, if the U.S. is to remain competitive we need to allow those who are willing to do the hard work necessary to come to our country.

I also read all the statistics that show that a large percentage of our youth are not buying into the costs of a college education. They see so many college graduates on the unemployment lines to believe in the mantra of the knowledge economy.  I must admit that my college education put me solidly into the middle class  where I had never been before. I watched my father struggle throughout his life to make a living; often a back-breaking living. He sold chain saws, he drove a milk truck, he packed thousands of sand molds and poured white-hot metal in them.  He was fortunate to finally get a big time factory job during his later years that allowed him to retire on a little more than his social security payments. I watched my father struggle through life.

I have been thinking quite a bit about the history of America and how we are unique in so many ways. We are an independent people who like to make our own ways. We, even those born from milkmen, stubbornly ask why we can’t have life a little easier than our fathers. We seemed to have ambition where many others don’t. I am searching to find just what has made America great in the past in order to try to understand how we might gain back that edge that we seem to be losing.

I simply can’t take Mr. Zuckerberg’s stand that the answer to our national malaise is to allow more of the ambitious from other countries to come here to fill out our “knowledge economy” roster. Are our youth who will be the leaders of tomorrow not stepping up to the task or are we just making the path too difficult? Those thoughts are on my mind lately. I am earnestly looking for the soul of America.  More about that later….

Looking At The Front End…

Source Blog:  Twenty-something « Cristian Mihai.

CristianI believe that young, inexperienced writers set out to write the words they think the world desires to read. The words the world needs. When they gain a bit of experience, they set out to write the words they desire to read. And that’s a pretty big difference.

I’m not sure this applies to me now, but when I was younger, I wanted to use all my ideas and characters and put them into a single story. I thought that’s how masterpieces are made. With experience you realize how precious ideas are. You store them. You also realize that in order to write a story you need just one idea. Some write as if the world is going to end tomorrow, and some as if the world is never going to end.

I enjoy reading blogs of those who are looking at the front end of life instead of the back end. Many of my regular blog views are about those in retirement. Of course that is  natural for me since that is where  I am. But it is enticing and reflective to see how a twenty-two year old views life on his blog.  I must say that for the most part he is more optimistic about the future than I am. No big surprise there; that has been going on for probably centuries.

I have Christian Mihai’s blog on the right side of mine. I know I might get more hits if my blogroll were much larger. I do read at least a dozen blog postings a day. But for whatever reasons I choose to only put those blogs that inspire me in one fashion or another.  Christian is one of those types of blog.  I am fascinated that some of his posts are filled with too much wisdom for someone so young.  The above is one of those posts.

I admit that I don’t know very much about Romania where he lives and I don’t know much about his life. Maybe that is one of the reasons a twenty-two year old can inspire me. Don’t get me wrong here, many of his posts are typical of someone that age. That should not be surprising as twenty-two years olds are really pretty typical across the world. They all struggle in one sense or another with becoming adults. They are all naive in their own ways. It is obvious that Christian wants to become a famous writer some day and I will not be surprised when he actually accomplishes that goal.

Closing out this post as it began, I enjoy reading words from those who are at the opposite end of life’s spectrum than I am. It keeps me young at least in a minimal sense. I can relate to so much this young man is going through in his life. I too was somewhat a moody young person dreaming about the future. I could give Christian some words of advice but somehow I kind of think he needs to discover things on his own…..

Youth Is Wasted on the Young…

Youth would be an ideal state if it came later in life — Herbert Asquith

I paraphrased the Asquith quote in the title of this post but the message is the same. I have always had the feeling that our given stages of life are somehow out of their most idealistic order.  When we are young we have a seemingly endless supply of energy and vigor but we also are plagued with a lack of experience and wisdom that come later that come much later in life. If only we could reserve some of that energy for when we can most wisely use it! 🙂

The same goes for our leisure time. When we are young and just starting out in our career choice, at least for those of us who actually choose a career, we have little time to do things that are not related to making a living.  We are concentrated on learning as much as we can and hopefully impressing our bosses. When we finally have the time to do other things after we retire we are usually drained of a very large percentage of the youthful energy. If only we could retire at an early age to just have some fun and then in mid-life start our careers…

Youth is wasted on the young who don’t really appreciate it or know what to really do with it..

About the Author

Herbert Asquith was the Prime Minister of England in the early 1900’s  He was of royal blood and known as the First Earl of Oxford. That royalty stuff was really important back then. He was a very notable peace time minister but with the coming of World War I he proved not up to managing the war efforts and was replaced by David Lloyd George in 1916.