Archive | November, 2015

I Am Thankful For The Next Generation!

Posted on 30 November 2015 by Scott Cooper

The Next Generation

As we close out our Thanksgiving Weekend Celebrations this year, I am particularly thankful for the next generation.  You know, often at Thanksgiving time, we look backward – to generations which came before us.  In particular we look to the early colonial era and the Pilgrims.  Their thankfulness was always God-Centered, for the provisions He had provided.

I am not saying we shouldn’t continue to look to the past, or that we shouldn’t be thankful for our current provisions – but I am saying we also need to look forward – to the next generation, and find things in their generation we can be thankful for!  There are great things happening with the next generation, often called millennials and Generations X, Y & Z, which we need to highlight & be thankful for!

I want to share four points.

First, without the next generation, there really is no future.  Everything in our society, whether it is faith based or secular depends upon our following the first commandment, “to be fruitful and multiply” and then successfully passing the baton to the next generation.

Second, when I speak to individuals in this demographic – millennials, Generation X, Y or Z, and ask them open ended questions then take time to listen to them, and their idea’s – most have thought through tough issues.  In all honesty, many in my generation and past generations have made the issues they face tougher!  For many, their idealism may have not yet received the dose of reality older generations already comprehend.  For others, their reality is extremely harsh, and they already have a lot to be negative about.  I have found that if you show a genuine interest in them, actually listen to and try and understand what they have to say – they are happy to talk.  Listening to this generation is rewarding – and I am thankful not only for them, but for the older folks who are willing to invest the time to do so!

Third, I don’t believe the line that the majority of the younger generation doesn’t want to work.  I believe a large percentage of the next generation lack adequate leadership, which has modeled proper behavior for them – helping them to identify their gifts and talents, and how they are best to be utilized in a productive society.  I am thankful for the next generation that is diligently working to find their role of productivity and service in our world – and I am thankful for the older generation which is helping these folks accomplish this task!

Finally, this past weekend I had the privilege of attending a wedding where I have known a large percentage of the wedding party for over a decade, at least on the groom and groomsmen side.  While all of these young men now in their mid-20’s grew up together, they have each taken vastly different paths.  One is getting an advanced degree in higher education, one is in sales, one is in graphic design, one is part of a family small business and another one has started his own small business.  Each one of them is working hard in their chosen field.  While I only personally know one of the ladies in the party – I know each of them are also working, and both the groomsmen and the ladies are striving to serve God in their lives.  This wedding, which was entirely planned by the next generation was God honoring, and forward looking with hope.  It gave me great encouragement and hope – and I am thankful for each of those who helped make it so.

I simply wanted to share these thoughts, because as we get older – often times we look to the past with rose colored glasses, and either are not as optimistic about the future or sometimes are downright fearful of the future.

I believe there is nothing is new under the sun.  Generations have always struggled at times getting along and passing the baton to the next generation.  But I have great hope in the next generation, and I am thankful for them!  May my generation be diligent in working with them, passing the baton to them with a smooth transition!  We, after all, are dependent upon their success!

In an effort to show how important I think looking to the past is, I want to share two Thanksgiving greetings from other organizations, which I believe do an excellent job in their fields, and have highlighted our past.   The first is from American Minute, written by my friend William J. Federer.  The second is from High Frontier, written by my father, Henry F. Cooper.  I too have written about the importance of understanding our past.

I sincerely hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend, and are looking forwards to the next year with hope for the future!

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