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Getting to the root cause of the issue – I’ve found it!
The Answers Can Only Be Found Within Our Youth
Years ago (hard to imagine saying that), when the first inklings of The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™ started rattling around in my head, I really had no idea what I was contemplating. There were several forces at play – from personal trials and tribulations to my observances of the society we currently have, from the needs of schools in my area to the seemingly allusive American Dream becoming more so the impossible American Dream.
I knew there had to be a way for these things to get better, there just had to be.
I turned inward to what I know best: building stuff. I figured if there were a potential solution it would have to be built, in one sense or another.
But what was the problem that actually needed to be fixed?
The list of problems I identified became very long. The seemingly endless problems we face multiplied as I wrote them down. Everything from drugs, domestic abuse, economic hardship, to general lack of opportunity, and on and on the list went. So many things needing attention, so many things needing solutions.
Backwards I went…
I had to get to the root of the problems – as that’s the only way to find a real solution. When did things go from good to bad for people? At what point do individuals lose the ability to dream and become hardened by their current situation? When did the endless opportunities once available to create one’s own future through imagination and execution fade away?
As it turns out, it literally lead me to younger and younger versions of people, and myself. What I found was that the solutions to our problems are held at the adolescent level – I’m talking about creating the solutions by focusing on the future generation – and yes, the problems could be solved in as little as one generation!
The kids are the answer, and it is to these young folks that we must direct a huge amount of resources.
You see, I have done this on a very small scale within my own family and a select few outside of my family. By giving kids a ridiculous amount of experiences and opportunities, task them with concrete goals, give them responsibilities and hold them to high expectations, and then teaching them that there will be positive, as well as negative (but supportive) consequences, they can and will succeed!!
By giving the younger generation these kinds of opportunities, they will grow into a much better, and dare I say happier, version of our society; which in turn will solve the root cause of the problems our nation – and world – face today.
I can hear some of you now…
“This guy is living in la la land, he is dreaming, this is fantasy land type thinking.”
Well, say what you will, but this all comes from a guy who bases his decisions on data, is firmly grounded in reality, is an entrepreneur who has had to make payroll for others for 30 years, who understands the economic realities of making it on your own, who believes in personal responsibility, and all the other good stuff that we are “supposed” to do.
BUT, I also do not see any other path forward. Things have gotten so messed up, so cynical, so impersonal, so downright nasty – you tell me, why is everyone so unhappy?
No government official is going to fix this. That’s a fact.
No “somebody else” is going to fix this.
No new “program” is going to fix this.
Only a commitment to creating the correct environment for the next generation is going to fix this – an environment where they can learn to think critically, come up with amazing new things and new plans, work together to make them happen, and then, of course, reap the rewards of all that work.
The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™ was designed as that place, that environment where experiences and opportunities will be thrust upon all who enter that special new type of American town. Their passions will be realized and the methods to monetize them will be determined. They will be poised to solve current problems as well as forge innovative new pathways into the future.
The youth is the answer; we have to make sure we do not squander it.